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Northern Ireland electricity and gas

Airtricity

By Sarah Ingrams

Article 2 of 7

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Airtricity

Airtricity is the second-largest energy supplier in Northern Ireland. Both Airtricity Electricity and Airtricity Gas are run by SSE Airtricity.

Airtricity operates across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and is owned by Scottish-based energy company SSE. It was the first company to set up in 2010, when switching supplier in Northern Ireland became possible.

There are two companies under the Airtricity umbrella: Airtricity Electricity and Airtricity Gas. 

It has around 350,000 customers, around a quarter of households in Northern Ireland. Airtricity supplies gas and electricity to households in Greater Belfast, but only electricity to households in the Ten Towns area.

Airtricity claims to be Northern Ireland's leading company for renewable energy generation, and it sources 36.1% of its electricity fuel mix from renewable energy. SSE built Ireland's largest wind farm, which helps to power 75,000 homes. It also says it has invested more than £1.5m to local community projects based around its wind farms.

As Airtricity supplies gas and electricity separately, we asked customers to rate them separately too.

See how SSE Airtricity's prices compare with the rest of the market by using Which? Switch to find the cheapest gas and electricity deals.

Keep reading for our full SSE Aitricity Electricity review. You can also use the link below to go straight to our Airtricity Gas review. 

SSE Airtricity Electricity customer score

In the annual Which? energy customer survey – the biggest of its kind in the UK – Airtricity Electricity came bottom of the table for energy suppliers in Northern Ireland. 

We surveyed hundreds of members of the public in Northern Ireland to reveal what six energy providers' customers think of them, including Power NI and Electric Ireland.

SSE Airtricity Electricity score breakdown

Below we show the breakdown of Airtricity Electricity's score from our survey. Keep reading to find out what goes into its fuel mix, and look at our verdict to help you decide if Airtricity is the supplier for you. 

Find out how Airtricity Electricity compares with other energy companies – see the full results of the Northern Ireland electricity and gas firms.

Which? verdict on SSE Airtricity Electricity

Although Airtricity Electricity is at the bottom of the table when it comes to its overall customer score, it still rates well for billing and customer service. 

In our survey, customers were generally happy with the clarity of Airtricity's billing. One customer described them as 'Easy to understand', while another said Airtricity's bills had 'just the right amount of info'. 

However, it was value for money and complaints handling that let the provider down - both scoring just three out of a possible five stars. 

SSE Airtricity raised its electricity prices by 18.2% in October 2018, increasing the average customer’s bill by £1.66 a week.

One customer said: 'It's got very expensive', while another stated: 'I think they can be cheaper than what they are charging'. 

Other respondents showed frustration with how complaints were dealt with. 

SSE Airtricity Electricity customer service 

On the other hand, customer services, both phone and online, scored well with four out of five stars.  

Pros: If you're interested in renewable energy, SSE Airtricity uses renewable energy in part and is building a wind farm

Cons: Price increases have meant higher bills

Airtricity electricity sources

SSE Airtricity Gas customer score 

SSE Airtricity Gas sits at number three in the Which? table for all six energy companies in Northern Ireland - three above Airtricity Electricity. 

Nearly 500 Northern Ireland energy customers took park in this year's annual Which? customer survey. 

SSE Airtricity Gas score breakdown

Below we show the breakdown of Airtricity Gas' score from our survey. Keep reading for our verdict, including whether its customers think it offers value for money and what they think of its bills. 

Find out how Airtricity Electricity compares with other energy companies – see the full results of the Northern Ireland electricity and gas firms.

Which? verdict on SSE Airtricity Gas

SSE Airtricity is the leading provider of natural gas in Northern Ireland, supplying customers in the Greater Belfast area, Ten Towns network and West network. 

Airtricity Gas sits in the middle of the table. Scoring 62% overall, customers gave it four out of five stars for its billing accuracy and clarity. One customer commented: 'Their bills are very clear and good at showing the pricing'. 

In our survey, customers were generally happy with the customer service too - resulting in both online and phone services receiving four stars. One customer said: 'We had an issue but they were brilliant at coming to a conclusion'. 

However, some customers mentioned price increases as the reason for giving a lower rating to the provider. Airtricity Gas increased its gas prices in October 2018 by 10.9%. 

Pros: Customers feel happy with the billing accuracy and overall service 

Cons: The price increase means customers bills have gone up

SSE Airtricity Electricity and SSE Airtricity Gas in the news

SSE Airtricity raised its electricity prices by a staggering 18.2% in the Greater Belfast area, increasing the average customer's bill by £1.66 a week. 

The company also raised its gas prices by 10.9%. 

Jenny Pyper, the utility regulator's chief executive said; 'The main reason for this increase is due to the significant rise in global gas costs since the tariff was last set earlier this year in April.'

 SSE Airtricity raised its electricity prices by 7.5%, increasing the average customer’s bill by £35 a year. 

This was the company's first electricity price rise in four years and SSE director of home energy David Manning said the ‘decision […] is the result of increasing costs outside of our control’.

A 7.6% gas price rise was announced. Customers saw a £36 average rise in their annual gas bill.

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