Most UK customers have been able to switch electricity supplier for over a decade, and now such competition has arrived in Northern Ireland.
New Northern Irish energy supplier Airtricity is owned by Scottish and Southern Energy and is offering discounts of up to 14%. The company has been supplying businesses in Northern Ireland since 2002 and has 200,000 customers in the Republic of Ireland.
The savings for consumers in Northern Ireland could add up to £95 per year if they switch from NIEEnergy, according to Airtricity. That saving is based on an annual NIEEnergy bill of £676 before switching to an Airtricity account with online billing and Direct Debit payments.
Which? energy expert Dr. Fiona Cochrane says: ‘Northern Ireland has had to wait much longer for the choice enjoyed by energy consumers in the rest of the country. A well-regulated competitive market should bring prices down – although the experience of liberalisation in the rest of the UK hasn’t always been positive.
‘Which? remains concerned about that make it very difficult for consumers to understand and reduce their energy consumption and costs. The Utility Regulator and the energy industry in Northern Ireland must ensure transparency of products and their marketing, free availability of quality information, and that consumers can switch easily and without penalty.’
Best and worst energy companies
Every year, Which? asks thousands of customers what they think of their energy suppliers. The Which? Switch energy customer satisfaction survey shows Scottish and Southern to be the best of the ‘big six’ suppliers – but other suppliers do better.
If your energy supplier isn’t giving you good value or customer service, you can switch to a cheaper tariff with a company that is rated highly by its customers. Northern Irish consumers can switch from NIEEnergy by calling 0845 601 4321 or going to Airtricity.com
To help you get the best from your energy supplier, read our guides to switching energy supplier, how to complain to energy suppliers, how to cut energy costs and understand energy bills.
Lower your gas and electricity bills
You can compare energy prices and switch to a new gas and electricity supplier on Which? Switch. People who switched with us between 1 October and 31 December 2013 are predicted to save an average of £234 a year on their bills.
Which? RSS and Twitter news feeds
For daily consumer news, subscribe to the Which? consumer news RSS feed. If you have an older web browser you may need to copy and paste http://www.which.co.uk/feeds/news.xml into your newsreader.
Follow @WhichNews on Twitter for the latest news, or @WhichAction to see how we’re campaigning for consumers.