Northern Ireland Electricity and regulator Ofreg have announced an extension of NIE Supply's price control to 2007, when the Northern Ireland electricity market should be fully open to competition. The price control – effectively an agreed plan for the business until 2007 – will add to the downward pressure on electricity prices by requiring the business to find additional operating efficiencies. These include:
Extending the pay-as-you-go keypad metering product to a larger number of customers, and introducing more tariff options.
Delivering a range of household energy efficiency programmes that will create an estimated £6 million of benefit to consumers.
Encourage 1000 household-scale renewable and domestic combined heat and power installations, paving the way for more sustainable energy solutions.
The agreement underscores the need for sustainability and energy efficiency programmes to benefit both customers and the utility.