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Electricity (Supply And Cost)

Volume 15: debated on Wednesday 16 December 1981

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asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the supply and cost of electricity in Northern Ireland.

The supply and cost of electricity in Northern Ireland have been the subject of a wide-ranging review. As a result of that review, and in fulfilment of my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister's commitment of 5 March that electricity tariffs in Northern Ireland should be brought more closely into line with those in England and Wales and kept there, my right hon. Friend, the then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, announced on 8 May that:

  • (a) tariffs charged to industrial consumers in Northern Ireland would be on a par with the highest in England and Wales; and
  • (b) until 1 April 1982 when the differential would be totally eliminated, tariffs for domestic consumers in Northern Ireland would not be more than 5 per cent. above the highest in England and Wales.
  • This policy is being implemented.My right hon. Friend also announced that the Northern Ireland Electricity Service, at the Government's request, would put in hand a series of studies on the longer-term options for reducing its dependence on oil for electricity generation. These studies are now under way.