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Bord Gáis and Electric Ireland to take over customers as another energy supplier exits Ireland

Iberdrola plans to make a “controlled exit” from the Irish energy supply market.

ENERGY SUPPLIER IBERDROLA has announced that intends to end its operations in Ireland, the second such departure from the market this year.

Iberdrola has notified the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) that it plans to make a “controlled exit” from the Irish energy supply market and asked the CRU to transition its customers to new suppliers.

Bord Gáis Energy and Electric Ireland will take on affected gas and electricity customers respectively. 

In a statement, a spokesperson for Iberdrola’s retail business in Ireland said it became “increasingly clear” that dynamics and pricing in Ireland meant it would “not be able to achieve” its aims in Ireland.

“Without the ability to achieve long-term customer growth on both a competitive and commercial basis, we’ve made the difficult decision to leave the supply market in a controlled, responsible and appropriate manner, with minimum impact on our customers,” the spokesperson said.

“We’ll be working closely with the CRU, Gas Point Registration Operator and Meter Registration System Operator to ensure a smooth and seamless transition for our customers and we thank each and every one of them for their support over the last three years.” 

In January, Bright Energy notified the CRU that it intended to leave the electricity supply market.

Additionally, fellow supplier Glowpower has decided to stop accepting new customers. 

Bord Gáis Energy is advising Iberdrola’s gas customers that their supply will not be disrupted.

The customers will be transferred to Bord Gáis Energy automatically and do not need to take any action for the switch, though may wish to shop around for a new supplier.

Price comparison service Bonkers said that the current energy crisis would have made operations more difficult for suppliers on top of an already-difficult market.

In a statement, Daragh Cassidy of Bonkers said that “at one stage, there were 14 residential energy suppliers in Ireland, which is a huge number given the small size of the Irish market, so exits and consolidation were always likely”.

“As with previous casualties, Iberdrola struggled to gain a large market share, and the recent energy crisis would only have exacerbated things,” Cassidy said.

“Gas customers will automatically move to Bord Gáis Energy while electricity customers will be transitioned to Electric Ireland. However, customers may find better value with other suppliers so I’d encourage anyone affected by today’s announcement to shop around.”

Cassidy said that further exits from the Irish market can’t be ruled out.

“Electricity prices in Ireland are the fourth most expensive in the EU and the most expensive once you strip out the effects of taxation,” he said.

“However these higher prices aren’t due to a lack of competition among suppliers, but rather higher costs and inefficiencies with generating electricity in Ireland, as well as the costs of transitioning to renewables.

“The increase in electricity use from data centres is also having an impact. So, Iberdrola’s exit is unlikely to have any material impact on prices.”

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