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Bord Gais Energy may have spent up to €300,000 on luxury office chairs

The energy provider says it was given a good price for its new office furniture, after putting them out to tender across the EU.

Dozens of the Aeron chairs, which were delivered to Bord Gais Energy's new headquarters this morning. The chairs cost hundreds of euro each.
Dozens of the Aeron chairs, which were delivered to Bord Gais Energy's new headquarters this morning. The chairs cost hundreds of euro each.
Image: Alex French

BORD GAIS ENERGY may have spent as much as €300,000 kitting out its new headquarters with hundreds of state-of-the-art deluxe office chairs.

A spokesman for the company said it had bought 380 of the Herman Miller Aeron chairs for its new premises at Warrington Place, off the Grand Canal near Mount Street in Dublin 2, where these pictures by TheJournal.ie reader Alex French show they were delivered this morning.

The spokesman said that the company was given a significant discount on its bulk order – and that it sought interest from suppliers from across the European Union before buying them.

The spokesman declined to say, however, how much it had paid for the chairs – which were supplied by Irish supplier MJ Flood, who are an official Herman Miller agent in Ireland.

“The selection is made on the basis of the most competitive tender,” the spokesman said. “Bord Gais Energy has fundamentally gone through all that.

“Having gone through a full tendering procedure, we’re talking about a competitive price.”

MJ Flood this afternoon told TheJournal.ie that such a quantity of chairs could be supplied for around €650 each, excluding VAT at 21 per cent.

At a VAT-inclusive price of €786.50, an order of 380 chairs would therefore have come to a total of €298,870 – not including delivery or other associated charges.

Bought on a standalone basis, a salesperson told us, the chairs sell at €750 plus VAT.

The Bord Gais Energy spokesman said it could not reveal how much it had paid for the chairs, as to do so would be a breach of its confidential deal with the supplier. He said:

Bord Gais is a State company – we have high standards in terms of safety practices. Any chair considered would have been tested rigorously and has to meet the standards set down.

The Aeron chair, he explained, was “quite a standard chair used, in terms of the quality that is required” by office buildings.

The 380 staff are due to move into Warrington Place from the current headquarters in Foley Street next week, in order to cater for the growth in BGE’s business since it entered the home electricity market.

The company had secured a lease on its new premises last year “at a favourable time”, the spokesman said, agreeing a deal to move into the David Arnold-owned premises in April of last year.

Read: Bord Gais buys hundreds of deluxe office chairs – weeks after watchdog allows price hikes >

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Gavan Reilly

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