mai 18, 2022

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An energy company exits the electricity market as the crisis worsens

The first casualty of the energy crisis emerged with the announcement that Belfast-based Bright Energy would leave the market in the Republic.

This comes as dozens of UK energy companies have collapsed.

The Utilities Regulatory Commission has stepped in to move Bright’s clients here to Electric Ireland.

It did so under what is known as a supplier of last resort measure to ensure uninterrupted electricity supplies to customers and protect their consumer rights.

Bright sold what it said was green energy in that market, but rising wholesale energy costs made it impossible for suppliers to avoid losses.

Other smaller players in this market are also expected to exit the market.

Bright Energy entered the residential electricity market here in the summer of 2020, promising deep discounts to those who switched to it.

There are 14 players in the residential supply market in this state.

The surge in wholesale energy prices last year prompted Bright to announce a number of double-digit price increases to its residential customers last year.

The electricity price increase announced last August was 26%.

Now I decided to exist in the market.

The Utilities Regulatory Commission (CRU) said that under its customer protection protocols, Electric Ireland is the designated electricity supplier of last resort.

This means that all Bright Energy customers will automatically move to Electric Ireland immediately for a minimum of 20 business days.

CRU has directed Electric Ireland to contact affected customers to inform them of this change and their future power supply options.

A spokesperson for the regulator said: « Customers do not need to take any immediate action and their electricity supply will not be cut off.

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« Electric Ireland will contact customers directly within five business days to provide customers with a tariff to stay with them or provide such customers with the option to switch to another supplier after a period of at least 20 business days. »

Understandably, Bright had few customers in this market.

Belfast-based Bright was founded by brothers Ciaran and Stephen Devine, who founded the energy company in partnership with oil supplier Maxwell Group.

The company operates the North Lishuli Combined Heat and Power Plant.

Cyclist Cassidy of price comparison site Bonkers.ie said further consolidation could not be ruled out.

This was particularly the case given the small market size with 14 different suppliers.

He said the energy crisis over the past year has not helped suppliers or consumers.