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Utility Regulator must consult widely - McCann

25 September, 2008

Sinn Fein MLA and Vice Chair of the Committee for Enterprise Trade & Investment Jennifer McCann called on the office of the Utility Regulator to consult widely with all stakeholders during the review into the role of the Regulator.

"After listening to representations from The Consumer Council and the Utility Regulators office at the Committee meeting this morning I would have concerns that the terms of reference for this enquiry do not go far enough.

I believe that people need to know whether the price hike of 33.3% in NIE Energy was justified and whether everything is being done to keep energy costs at a minimum.

There is a clear need for a sustainable Energy Strategy to be adopted which will ensure future investment in energy but which also looks to the interests of the customer by adopting innovative policy measures to combat fuel poverty.

NIE Energy also need to explain to their customers why those who have recently purchased electricity through their key pad system will be charged at the increased tariff for electric that isn't used before October 1st. We also need to know will the same apply to those energy suppliers who buy their electricity in advance of October 1st to sell onto other customers.

Fuel poverty is effecting people now and the measures that have been put forward by the Deputy First Minister Martin Mc Guinness to offset the financial difficulties facing households should be implemented immediately."


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