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Firmus Energy: Latest Price Cuts & Reviews

Firmus Energy is one of two gas suppliers in Northern Ireland. Supplying gas to the Ten Towns area, which includes Antrim and Derry, and the Greater Belfast region, it offers a range of tariffs for households, and small, medium and large businesses. It also has its own natural gas distribution network and encourages more households to connect to the network.


Gas: Natural gas  Recently cut prices
Fuel mix score: 0/5  Good choice of tariffs
Domestic Market: Northern Ireland
(Ten Towns and Greater Belfast)
 Offers good grants and incentives
to help households connect to natural gas network
Customers: 95,000  No option to top up online
Selectra score: ★★★  Non-renewable energy

Quick background information

Firmus Energy is a gas supplier based in Antrim, Northern Ireland. For customers living in the Ten Towns area of Northern Ireland, Firmus Energy NI is the only gas provider available. It also supplies gas to the Greater Belfast area, but here customers have the choice between Firmus and SSE Airtricity.

From launching its first business supply in 2005 and first domestic supply in 2006, Firmus gas NI now supplies gas to around 95,000 customers.

As well as supplying gas to households and businesses, Firmus Energy is a distributor and builds its own infrastructure. Since its creation, the company has invested over £100 million in Northern Ireland’s gas network and laid over 1,400km of mains pipeline.

Firmus Energy gas prices: increases and cuts

In the past three years, Firmus Energy’s gas prices have seen some dramatic changes which have impacted all of its customers.

At the end of 2018, the gas supplier raised all of its prices by a hefty 12%. This Firmus Energyprice increase meant bills for customers in the Ten Towns area typically rose by £75 per year, which is a substantial amount considering these consumers have no option of switching to another gas supplier. For customers in greater Belfast, this 12% increase saw bills rise by £65 a year.

However, there is light at the end of the tunnel - Firmus Energy has recently cut its gas prices! As of October 2019, all of the provider’s prices dropped by nearly 9% (8.77). This price cut will mean a £54 decrease in yearly bills for greater Belfast customers and a £61 reduction for those in the Ten Towns network. While these don’t match the pre-2018 Firmus prices, it’s a significant improvement.

Fed up or price changes?Use Selectra’s handy energy comparison tool to compare energy providers and find a great fixed-rate deal, or give our energy experts a call on 02039 360059 (Monday to Friday 8am-8pm). They can help you compare prices and find a tariff that saves you money.

Tariffs and unit price

Firmus Energy tariffs are split into two main categories: those for customers in Greater Belfast; and those for customers in the Ten Towns network. In the tables below we break down the price per unit and extra tariff information for each deal.

Firmus Energy Tariffs for Greater Belfast
Name of tariff Price per unit (kWh) Online annual direct debit discount
(if use more than 8,000 kWh per year)
Payment method Extra tariff info
Credit Meter Online
  • First 2,000 kWh: 6.311p
  • Every unit over
    2,000 kWh: 4.324p
£30 Direct debit
  • Submit Firmus energy meter readings every 3 months
  • Online bills
  • Minimum gas consumption of 1,678 kWh per year
Credit Meter offline
  • First 2,000 kWh: 6.311p
  • Every unit over
    2,000 kWh: 4.324p
£22.05 Any
  • Submit Firmus energy meter readings twice a year
  • Quarterly paper bills
  • Minimum gas consumption of 1,678 kWh per year
Top-Up Meter 4.591p n/a Pay as you go n/a
Business online
  • First 2,000 kWh: 6.010p (ex. VAT)
  • From 2,000 to 73,200 kWh: 4.118p (ex. VAT)
£30 (ex.VAT) Direct Debit
  • Submit Firmus energy meter readings monthly or quarterly
  • Online bills
  • Minimum gas consumption of 419.5 kWh per quarter
Business offline
  • First 2,000 kWh: 6.010p (ex. VAT)
  • From 2,000 to 73,200 kWh: 4.118p (ex. VAT)
n/a Direct Debit
  • Minimum gas consumption of 419.5 kWh per quarter

*figures correct as of Feb 2020, include VAT unless otherwise stated.

Firmus Energy Tariffs for Ten Towns Network
Name of tariff Price per unit (kWh) Direct debit discount per quarter Payment method Extra tariff info
Credit Meter
  • First 2,000 kWh: 7.300p
  • Every unit over 2,000kWh: 4.921p
£5.50 Any
  • Firmus Energy will read meter twice a year
  • Quarterly paper bills
  • Minimum gas consumption of 419.5 kWh per quarter
Top-Up Meter 5.060p n/a Pay as you go n/a
SME Business
  • First 2,000 kWh: 7.466p (ex. VAT)
  • From 2,000 to 73,200kWh: 4.958p (ex. VAT)
n/a Direct Debit
  • Minimum gas consumption of 419.5kWh per quarter

*figures correct as of Feb 2020, include VAT unless otherwise stated.

Firmus Energy also offers tailored tariffs to large businesses. Call 0800 032 4567 to talk to an Account Manager and find out more, or give our energy experts a call to discuss your options.

Reviews

Unfortunately, there are not an abundance of Firmus Energy reviews online. This is likely because roughly half of its customers (those living in the Ten Towns area) do not have a choice about their gas supplier - Firmus Energy is their only option so there isn’t much point in praising or complaining about the company on customer review sites.

In fact, on the Firmus Energy online website, the latest reviews are from 2016. These are mostly positive, praising the customer service and the quality of installation work. However, considering the supplier now has new owners and has raised its prices, these reviews can’t give much accurate insight into how customers feel today.

We did find some recent reviews on Google Reviews, where Firmus has a total rating of 2.5 out of 5. These reviews are quite mixed. Some customers claim the customer service is very friendly and helpful, while others claim the agents are patronising and inefficient.

One area customers did agree on was the quality of installation, claiming the Firmus Energy installers do a ‘fantastic and very tidy job’, all the way from the ground work to installing the meter. A number of customers report they left their house ‘100% spotless’.

Firmus on Which?

paper and magnifying glass

The latest information when it comes to Firmus Energy reviews is Which?’s 2019 annual survey. In this, customers awarded Firmus gas a score of 62%, ranking it 4/5 for bill accuracy, 3/5 for bill clarity, customer service and value for money, and only 2/5 for digital tools.

We are not surprised by the low digital tools score. While the online account is useful and lets you track energy usage, it is not as advanced as those offered by other suppliers. For example, it offers no way for prepayment customers to top up online, an option a lot of supplier’s have introduced due to its convenience.

3/5 is also not too shocking for value for money considering the supplier’s price hikes in 2018, however, customer opinions might be improving on this front thanks to the price cuts in October 2019.

Overall, Firmus Energy comes joint 4th out of six Northern Ireland energy suppliers in Which’s survey, which doesn’t sound great. However, it shares the fourth position with SSE Airtricity Gas, the only other gas supplier in Northern Ireland. For customers who can choose their gas provider, the two options, Firmus Energy and SSE Airtricity, are on par.

Grants and incentives

Firmus gas NI runs a number of different offers and incentives to encourage customers to connect to its natural gas supply.

For example, in 2013 it launched a grant to help homeowners convert to a natural gas heating system. This Firmus gas grant offered £300 (paid by Firmus gas NI) to households in its network, while the NI Executive would contribute a further £1000 to help cover costs.

Firmus Energy’s current offers include a boiler replacement scheme - which means customers can get up to a £1,000 grant for a new natural gas boiler - and a 0% interest-free credit on heating system installation.

This installation scheme is available for all homeowners, landlords and tenants living in the Firmus Energy NI network. If you qualify, it means you can get a new natural gas heating system installed in your property and spread the installation costs over 3 years with 0% interest.

Firmus Energy will supply the natural gas and fit your meter, but you must get a Firmus Energy installer that offers 0% APR to connect you to the network. Firmus Energy installers are listed by area on the company’s website.

There are constantly new schemes and Firmus gas grants, as well as gift vouchers for stays as spas and hotels, available from the supplier. Make sure you keep an eye on the website to make the most of what is available.

Firmus Energy login and account

Like most energy providers, Firmus Energy NI offers its customers an online portal where they can view their bills, pay bills and submit meter readings. Even though logging in is straightforward, we have outlined the Firmus Energy login process step-by-step below in case you’re having one or two difficulties.

 Access the Firmus login page. There are two ways to do this:
  • Type Firmus Energy into your search engine and select the result that reads Natural gas for home & business N.Ireland NI | firmus energy. This will take you to the Firmus homepage. On this page, there is a big white box headed Let’s see if you can connect?. At the bottom of this box, it reads Existing customer? Log in to My Account?. Click this link and you will be taken to the Firmus Energy login page.

  • The second and faster way is to type Firmus Energy login directly into your search engine and click the result that reads Firmus Energy - Login. You will be taken straight to the Firmus login page.
 On the login page, you need to enter the username and password associated with your Firmus account.
 Click the orange Login box.

Don’t have an account?

New Firmus gas NI customers need to register for an online account as it is not set up automatically. Luckily, it is easy to do this and will not take long at all.

To register for a Firmus account, head to the Firmus Energy login page using one of the methods outlined in the steps above. On this page, click the link that reads New Customer? Register Here.

You will need to fill out a registration form with the following details:

  • Full name (must be the name of person who holds the account)
  • Customer Account Number
  • Email address

After you have filled out these details, click the orange Register button. You should now have set up your Firmus online account. If you encounter any difficulties doing this, you can send an email explaining your problem to billing@firmusenergy.co.uk

App

Unfortunately, there is currently no Firmus Energy app. The only way to digitally manage your Firmus account is through the online portal.

Prepayment customers: top up and error codes

There is only one way to complete a Firmus Energy top up - in a PayPoint store with your gas card.

To top up, simply take your Firmus gas card to your local PayPoint store and ask the store assistant to top it up by the amount you wish. The minimum top up is £5 and the maximum is £49 at any one time. With the new credit on your card, return home and place your card in your meter and transfer the credit.

Can you top up Firmus gas online?

No. Right now, there is no Firmus Energy top up online option. Online is a super easy and convenient way to top up so we hope Firmus develops this ability soon, but for now, customers are stuck with the traditional method of topping up in person at a PayPoint outlet.

Want to top up online?A lot of energy providers now let you top up your credit online. Give Selectra’s energy experts a call on 02039 360059 today (Monday to Friday 8am-8pm) to see what’s available and switch to a more convenient supplier.

Replacement card: where can I get a Firmus gas card?

Losing your Firmus gas card means losing money as, if the credit has not been transferred onto your meter, it cannot be retrieved from a lost card. This is why it's important to keep your gas card safe at all times. However, if you do lose your card, it’s not the end of the word - it’s easy to get a Firmus Energy replacement card.

cards

Customers with a red, orange or white Firmus gas card can get a new card in a PayPoint store for £4.50. After purchasing the card, you will need to register it before you can top up. To register the new card, insert into your meter until you hear a beep. You can then return to the PayPoint store to top up.

Greater Belfast Firmus Energy customers with a Blue Quantum card don’t have it quite as easy. You will need to order a replacement card by phoning 0800 032 4567 or emailing customeroperations@firmusenergy.co.uk.

Emergency credit

If your credit is really low and you are unable to top up, you can release emergency credit. Firmus Energy emergency credit will keep your gas supply on until you can top up, but it is not free - the amount will be taken off your credit when you next top up.

To get access to the emergency credit:

  1. Turn off all gas appliances
  2. Insert your Firmus gas card into your meter
  3. Press and Hold the black B button until ‘Release B’ and ‘Let go’ flashes
  4. Release the B Button and remove your card

After 30 seconds you should hear a click, which is the sound of the valve reopening. It may take another minute or so for your meter to change from OFF to ON. When it has done this, you will need to reset your boiler. You can either do this yourself by following the instructions outlined in your boiler manual or contact a gas safe registered engineer to come and reset it for you.

Top up error codes

There are a number of different Firmus Energy error codes that can pop up on your prepayment meter. Let’s go through what the most common error codes can signal and the possible fixes.

  • Error 8 - this error is common if you have recently switched to Firmus Energy and topped up by more than £20 when picking up your ‘change of supply’ message. To resolve this you will need to contact Firmus Energy.
  • Error 1 - this indicates that your gas card is not valid. Try reinserting your card, ensuring the gold chip is facing down.
  • Error 6 - this means there is a communication error with your card. This could simply happen because your card is dirty so try cleaning it with a soft cloth. You may also find blowing on the card slot in your meter to remove any dust helps. If the error code persists, you will need to buy a new card.

To contact Firmus Energy regarding your error code, you can send an email containing your home address and contact number to customeroperations@firmusenergy.co.uk or ring 0800 032 4567.

Jobs with Firmus

As Firmus Energy NI is responsible for the construction and operation of a new natural gas network across Northern Ireland, as well as being a typical gas supplier, it offers a wide range of different jobs, from engineering to customer service.

All applications for Firmus Energy jobs are handled through SeeMeHired.com. Through this service, you can submit your application and receive status alerts. As the service as a mobile app, you can even receive these alerts on your phone so you are kept up to date with the progress of your application.

Firmus Energy jobs are advertised on its website. For more information on the positions, you can send an email to recruitment@firmusenergy.co.uk.

Contact Firmus Energy

New customers can contact the supplier through the Firmus Energy contact number, email, postal address or social media for all general enquiries.

Firmus Energy contact number 0330 024 9000 (Monday to Friday: 9am-5pm)
Email address furtherinfo@firmusenergy.co.uk
Firmus Energy address Firmus energy, A4-A5 Fergusons Way,
Kilbegs Rd, Antrim, BT41 4LZ
Social media Twitter, LinkedIn

There is also an option to fill out an online form and submit your question online. This form is found on the supplier’s contact page. You will need to provide information on why you want to get in touch, full name, telephone number and email address. A Firmus Energy customer service agent will then get in touch with you.

Existing customers with problems or complaints, can call the Firmus Energy phone number or use the email or postal address listed below:

  • Firmus Energy phone number (existing customers) : 0800 032 4567 (Monday-Friday:9am-5pm)
  • Email: customeroperations@firmusenergy.co.uk
  • Firmus Energy head office address: Firmus energy, A4-A5 Fergusons Way, Kilbegs Rd, Antrim, BT41 4LZ

If you are moving home, you will need to contact Firmus gas NI using one of the methods above to let the supplier know you are moving, submit final meter readings and get a final bill.

Any press enquiries should be directed to Ross Williamson on 028 9034 7300. If it is an urgent enquiry, you can contact him on 07591 626 371 (line available 24/7).

Firmus operates a service called Dial Before You Dig. This can provide you with more information and advice regarding the supplier’s gas network. To contact this service, use the Firmus Energy telephone number 08456 08 00 66.

Committed to keeping its customers safe, Firmus Energy NI is part of the Quick Check Scheme. This means the police can confirm whether the person at your door is a Firmus Energy employee or not. To utilise this service call 101.

Emergency contact

If you smell gas in your home or suspect a gas leak, you need to get out of the property and call the Northern Ireland Gas Emergency Service on 0800 002 001.

Below we have the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Firmus Energy. Read on to find the answers you’re looking for.

1. Who owns Firmus Energy?

Firmus Energy is owned by Equitix Investment Management (Equitix). Originally, it was a subsidiary of Irish energy supplier, Bord Gáis. As the provider brought its business to Northern Ireland, it launched the trading name Firmus Energy.

In 2013, Bord Gáis, including Firmus, was sold to a Centrica-led consortium (Centrica, the owner of British Gas, and two private equity groups) for €1.1 billion. However, Firmus Energy did not stay under this ownership for long, as, in 2014, it was sold to iCON Infrastructure.

In 2019, Firmus changed hands again. At the start of the year, the gas supplier was sold to London-based infrastructure investor Equitix.

2. Can I get Firmus gas?

Your ability to get a Firmus gas tariff depends on where you live.

Firmus Energy distributes natural gas in the Ten towns area, which includes Derry/Londonderry, Limavady, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Coleraine, Newry, Craigavon, Antrim, Bainbridge and Armagh (new areas are being added as the network grows). For people who live in this area, Firmus Gas is the only gas supplier available.

Since 2011, the provider has also been a gas supplier (not distributor) in the Greater Belfast area. This means that while Firmus is not responsible for distributing the gas to homes in this area, customers can buy a Firmus Energy tariff.

Customers who live outside the Ten Towns and Greater Belfast areas, cannot be a Firmus Energy customer.

3. Where does Firmus gas come from?

All Firmus gas comes from natural gas, which is found underground. Unfortunately, this is not renewable energy, however, it is better for the environment than using coal, which releases more carbon dioxide emissions when it burns.