Rural lobby group Farmers For Action is seeking a meeting with the Northern Ireland Utility Regulator to discuss rising energy prices.

The office, which has responsibility for regulating the electricity, gas, water and sewerage industries in Northern Ireland, has warned that energy costs will increase further.

“The unparalleled increases in the cost of wholesale energy at a global level have persisted and continue to impact on supplier costs," the regulator recently stated.

The Farmers For Action (FFA) Steering Committee has said that it is "alarmed" at the price increases which it believes are "possibly unjustified".

Energy prices

The group outlined that every farm, business and household across Northern Ireland has been "bombarded with electricity increases without clear justification".

Sean McAuley, who is a member of the FFA committee, said that questions need to be asked of the regulator on achieving a completely renewable energy supply for Northern Ireland as soon as possible.

“Northern Ireland’s average electricity generating breakdowns are 44% gas, 24% coal, 17% wind, 15% net import and 1.4% others," he outlined.

If a meeting is confirmed with the Northern Ireland Utility Regulator, FFA said that it wants to know what electricity generating companies are doing to get rid of coal and gas and when customers' bills will fall as the use of renewables increases.

It said that electricity prices should not be prohibitive as Northern Ireland transitions away from fossil fuels to renewable energy. The group also stated that farmers are having difficulty in contacting energy suppliers in order to get "a clear cut offer" on prices.