Energy Markets in Northern Ireland - Masterclass

Attendees at the Energy Markets Masterclass

NICVA's Centre for Economic Empowerment held its fourth Masterclass of the year, delving into Northern Ireland's energy markets.

Richard Williams, Head of Energy Policy at The Consumer Council, showed how energy prices in Northern Ireland compared with GB and Europe. He also explained what drives energy prices and emphasised the importance of customers switching suppliers if they are to find the best deal.

Stephen Kelly, CEO of the representative body Manufacturing NI, talked about the contribution of the manufacturing sector to the Northern Ireland economy, and the need for those businesses to have access to affordable energy. Yet medium- to large-sized industrial and commercial consumers face close to the highest prices for electricity in Europe. Stephen said that addressing the issue of affordability of energy should be a priority for politicians.

Finally, Paul Wallace from National Energy Action (NEA) NI, part of the NI Fuel Poverty Coalition, briefed the class on the role of energy prices on the high rates of fuel povertyy in Northern Ireland. He explained the fuel poverty was caused not only by high prices but also by low incomes and energy inefficiency (especially for heating).

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