CURA Agrees to Further Gas Price Increase

The Communication and Utilities Regulatory Authority has said it has agreed to Manx Gas’ request for a further increase in gas prices on the island.

However, the amount of that increase has yet to be announced.

In a notice on its website dated March 4, CURA said it received a request from Manx Gas on February 19 to carry out a review of tariffs.

The notice said: ‘Manx Gas has made this request to the Authority on the basis of “significant increases and volatility in the global wholesale price of gas over the past six months”. Manx Gas highlighted that it is concerned with its continued ability to maintain a safe and secure supply of gas to its customers in an economically sustainable manner.

‘Having reviewed the information submitted the Authority is of the view that an increase would be required at this time and as such is moving to the next step in its process, to determine an appropriate increase to the tariff; this is in keeping with the review processes to date. In doing so, it will be mindful of the need to strike a balance between the needs of consumers, Manx Gas, and the wider public interest.’

Customers were hit by a 27.5% increase in gas prices last year when Tynwald agreed to a request to raise the tariff due to the spiralling global costs of gas.

The regulator also makes note that the Gas (Tariff Fixing) (Parameters) Regulations 2022 are being laid before March Tynwald. If approved, this will create a new framework for fixing gas tariffs on the island. However, as these have not yet gone to Tynwald, it says ‘it is important that this review process is followed consistently’.

CURA added: ‘The price of gas on the international commodity markets has been at a very high level since the last review was conducted, and the invasion of Ukraine has driven the market higher. As of publication of this Notice, the forward prices are in the region of 370p whereas, under normal conditions, they would be expected to be in the region of 50p. It is these commodity costs that are [the] sole focus of the Authority’s tariff review.’

Gef has approached CURA and Manx Gas for more information as to what increase has been sought and when it will be in a position to announce this.