The Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) has received formal notification from Iberdrola of its intention to exit the Irish electricity and gas supply market. The CRU will now initiate the Supplier of Last Resort (SoLR) procedure to ensure that customers’ electricity and gas supply is not interrupted and that their consumer rights are protected.
Under the CRU customer protection protocols, Electric Ireland is the designated electricity supplier of last resort and Bord Gáis Energy, the gas supplier of last resort. All 32,000 Iberdrola customers will automatically transfer to Electric Ireland and Bord Gáis Energy on a date that will be determined shortly and will remain with that supplier for a minimum standstill period.
The CRU will direct Electric Ireland and Bord Gáis Energy to engage with the affected customers to inform them of this change and of their future options for energy supply.
Customers do not need to take any immediate action and their electricity and gas supply will not be interrupted. Electric Ireland and Bord Gáis Energy will contact customers directly after they have been transferred from Iberdrola.
Suppliers of Last Resort
Suppliers of Last Resort are intended to provide protection and security to consumers and will ensure the continuity of service for customers whose chosen supplier ceases to trade or is no longer in a position to supply a customer with energy.
The responsibilities of the Supplier of Last Resort are to ensure the continuity of supply for customers of the exiting supplier, provide these customers with the option of choosing a new supplier or to remain with the designated SoLR. Customers will be provided service from the SoLR for a minimum standstill period and can remain with Electric Ireland or Bord Gáis Energy, after that or decide to switch to another supplier.
The objective of the SoLR legislation and associated procedures is to protect energy customers by giving the Commission for Regulation of Utilities the power to appoint a Supplier of Last Resort to supply electricity or gas to customers in circumstances where their supplier has its supply licence revoked or is no longer able to supply them.
Commenting on the decision Commissioner Aoife MacEvilly said: “The Supplier of Last Resort process will ensure that Iberdrola Energy customers will not have any interruption to their electricity or gas supply and customers do not need to take any immediate action. Following a short standstill period, these customers have the option to switch to another supplier.”
“While the decision by Iberdrola to exit the supply market for commercial reasons is disappointing, there are still a number of suppliers of both electricity and gas to provide options for customers with wide range of tariffs to suit customer’s needs. The recent significant increase in switching levels is an indicator that customers are finding better value and it remains important for customers to continue to look to switch supplier or renegotiate with their current supplier to ensure they are on the best value tariff.