Enterprise Minister addresses Energy Institute members

Mar 11, 2010

Pictured at the event, left to right, are: Ciaran McGrath, Vice Chairman, Energy Institute NI Branch; Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster and Dan Sinton, Chairman, Energy Institute NI Branch.

Enterprise Minster Arlene Foster has called on those with influence to join with Government in meeting the targets and ambitious goals for Northern Ireland’s energy future.

Speaking at the Energy Institute annual dinner in the Culloden Hotel, the Minister said: “I greatly appreciate the contribution made by Energy Institute members in helping to shape the way ahead, and now encourage them to rise to the challenges which will be set out in the forthcoming Strategic Energy Framework.”

Reflecting on the recent debate around electricity prices, Arlene Foster welcomed the fact that the review of industrial electricity prices announced last November by the Utility Regulator is almost complete and scheduled for publication very shortly.

The Minister added: “I welcome the initial findings of the inquiry and commitments given by the Utility Regulator to help business understand both the drivers behind energy costs, and the offers they are receiving from supply companies.

“It was also very encouraging to learn that the inquiry has highlighted greater levels of competitive offers since the establishment of the Single Electricity Market in 1997, and that the proportion of customers switching supplier has increased significantly in the past three years.”

Welcoming the Minister’s address Dan Sinton, Chairman of the Energy Institute said: "We face many challenges in ensuring Northern Ireland has a secure and sustainable energy future. Some difficult decisions lie ahead in relation to the balance of our generation mix, how to maximise our renewable energy potential and costs to all consumers. The Energy Institute will do all it can to advise and inform the debate and decision making processes."

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