At that time, I did some research on what the options were for consumers – the original article is available by clicking here.
Back in 2005, there were 6 possible electricity suppliers other than the ESB. At that time, none supplied (or had any plans to supply) residential customers. A couple of months later though, it was reported that Airtricity would be entering the residential market – which they did for a while, backed out for a while more, and re-entered the residential market again in 2007.
As of today, more than 3 years later, Airtricity are still the only competitors to the ESB for residential electricity consumers. The market for alternative suppliers of electricity is still pretty shocking. Of the original 6 possible options, 2 have now been taken over by one company (Scottish & Southern Energy has taken over both Airtricity and CH Power). One other, Direct Independent Energy, seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth. The remaining 3 – Bord Gais, ESB Independent Energy, and Energia – still won’t supply electricity to residential customers.
There are now, according to this list from EirGrid, 14 customer supply companies in the electricity market. However, none of the 8 new participants will supply electricity to the residential market – their focus is only on business customers.
So what’s the competition like between Airtricity and the ESB? Well, I’d like to be able to show you the comparative costs – however, that I’m able to find, neither company provides the cost of electricty on their websites. However, back in 2007 when I did the last research, the prices were exactly the same.
Oh, and by the way, you should be thanking the Commission for Energy Regulation – “The Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) is the independent body responsible for overseeing the liberalisation of Ireland’s energy sector.”