All-island gas plans welcomed

Northern Ireland Energy Holdings today welcomed the call by northern utility regulator, Iain Osborne for the establishment of an all-island market in gas.

The company believes that the creation of an all-island market structure for gas is a natural follow-on for the single market for electricity due to be launched in November of this year.

Managing director of Northern Ireland Energy Holdings’ gas business, Bill Cargo said: "There is a compelling logic to gas following electricity into an all-island market structure – therefore we welcome Iain Osborne’s proposal.

"The only test we would apply is whether or not such a structure would benefit the energy consumers of Northern Ireland - and we believe that in the long run it undoubtedly would."

However Mr. Cargo warned: “As ever with such proposals the ‘devil is in the detail’. Indeed there are currently flaws in the detailed design of the single electricity market due to go live in November which work against the interests of Northern Ireland energy consumers.

"Hopefully these flaws can be corrected – but it is important that the gas sector learns from the electricity experience and puts the consumer first."

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