It is generally accepted that Parliament Buildings, home of the Stormont Assembly, is full of hot air – but how much is it costing the public to heat?
BtP can reveal today the astronomical cost of heating and electricity in the Assembly building. The eyewatering total cost of providing heat and electricity to the Assembly peaked in January 2013 at £49,590 – well over twice the average salary of a worker in Northern Ireland. All this despite the Assembly being in recess from 15 December 2012 until 14 January 2013.
To put this cost in perspective, domestic customers of PowerNI faced a 17.8% price hike in May of that year, and the Housing Condition Survey report from 2011 placed 43% of households in NI in fuel poverty.
The average total cost of heating and electricity from 2007 is highest in the month of January, at £42,220 and lowest in August, when the Assembly does not sit, at £19,516.
The most recent released figure is from December 2014 and show costs of heating is £14,327, electricity is £24,484 – a total of £38,811. All of this whilst many, mainly elderly residents across the province face the choice between heating or eating.
The natural gas that heats the Assembly has costs of between £492 and £518 per year for the average consumer, begging the question ‘why are our politicians in Stormont allowed to be kept warm and cosy?’