The CRU has received formal notification from Panda Power Ltd of its intention to exit the electricity and gas supply market on the 30th of September.
The CRU has initiated the Supplier of Last Resort (SoLR) procedure to ensure that customers’ gas and electricity supply is not interrupted and that their consumer rights are protected. Under the CRU customer protection protocols, Electric Ireland are the designated electricity supplier and Bord Gáis Energy are the designated gas supplier of Last Resort.
All Panda Power customers will automatically transfer to Electric Ireland and Bord Gáis Energy for 90 days at these suppliers’ standard tariff rates for electricity or gas. Customers can still switch supplier from Panda Power to a supplier of their choice without incurring a termination fee up to and including the 28th of September.
If they do not switch before this date, they will automatically transfer to the designated SoLRs. Once a customer has transferred, they should contact Electric Ireland and Bord Gais Energy to discuss other tariff offerings available to them.
Panda Power has approximately 50,000 electricity customers and 10,000 gas customers and represents 2% of all domestic electricity customers and 1% of all domestic gas customers. Panda Power Business customers account for 3% of all business/SME electricity customers and .04% of all business gas customers.
Customers should submit a meter reading to ESB Networks or Gas Networks Ireland to ensure that an accurate read can be transferred to any new supplier and customers are not subjected to an estimated meter read to avoid any possible larger catchup bills.
The CRU has directed Electric Ireland and Bord Gáis Energy to engage with the affected customers who have not switched to a new supplier after the transfer to inform them of this change and of their future options for energy supply.
This is to offer customers who have not switched to a new supplier a tariff to remain with Electric Ireland or Bord Gáis Energy or provide these customers with the option of switching to another supplier after the 90-day period (29th December).
The objective of the SoLR process 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.
The Supplier of Last Resort process and the designated suppliers are in place to ensure the continuity of supply for customers of the exiting supplier in circumstances where their supplier has its supply licence revoked or is no longer able to supply them with energy and provide these customers with the option of choosing a new supplier.
Commenting on the decision Commissioner Aoife MacEvilly said: “The CRU’s decision to direct the Supplier of Last Resort process will ensure that Panda Power Ltd customers will not have any interruption to their electricity and gas supplies. Panda Power Ltd customers do have the opportunity to switch to a new supplier of their choice in advance of the 28th of September deadline and this can be done quickly and easily through the CRU accredited switching websites (www.switcher.ie, www.bonkers.ie and www.powertoswitch.ie). It is also important for customers to submit an accurate meter reading to ESB Networks and Gas Networks Ireland, depending on what supply they received from Panda Power.”
“If customers do not switch before the 28th of September date, they will automatically transfer at the standard variable tariff to the Suppliers of Last Resort at which point they can contact Electric Ireland and/or Bord Gais Energy to discuss other tariff options available.”