Domestic customers will subsidise large users
Sinn Féin Energy Spokesperson Phil Flanagan MLA has claimed that the 17.8% price increase announced by Power NI today may be the first step in efforts to make domestic consumers and small businesses pay more to allow price reductions for large businesses.
Mr Flanagan said:
"In recent weeks we have been provided with statistical information from the Utility Regulator that large business users are paying comparatively more than their competitors in most other member states in Europe pay.
"This is an unacceptable situation for our large users.
"Unfortunately, the solution being put forward by some to resolve this matter is simply to bring in a price hike for domestic customers and small businesses.
"I am concerned that this increase may be the first step in efforts to make domestic consumers and small businesses pay more to allow price reductions for large businesses.
"This is an unacceptable solution to the problem and I have sought clarity from both Power NI and the Utility Regulator that this price hike is not being implemented to subsidise the price large users pay for electricity.
"Many households and small businesses across the north cannot afford such a substantial increase in electricity prices and if it turns out that they are going to pay more in order to subside large users, then this will leave a sour taste in many people's mouths."