A price index is a number that shows the extent to which a price has changed from a base over a given period. The base period is set at 100 and changes in price are shown relative to that number, i.e., above or below 100 for an increase or decrease respectively.
The base period for the Home Energy Index is January 2016.
At the Consumer Council, we record gas and electricity tariffs every month, and home heating oil prices every week, from different suppliers across Northern Ireland. Prices are weighted to take consideration of usage and market share of suppliers, so that changes in the index number better reflect the change impacting the consumer over time.
Due to the reliance of home heating oil in Northern Ireland (approximately 62.5% of households have oil central heating), the index is particularly sensitive to changes in its price.
To reflect the growing use of natural gas central heating systems the weightings within the Index were changed in November 2023. The other data sources used were last updated in October 2022 so that the index better reflects meter types in use, market share, and is based on tariffs on suppliers’ standard tariffs only for greater consistency.
The Index encompasses the impact of the Government Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) that artificially lowered gas and electricity prices from 1 November 2022 until 30 June 2023.
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