The energy crisis led another energy supplier to exit the market.
Belfast-based Bright Energy, which offered 100% renewable electricity through one variable tariff, sent a formal notification of its intention to exit the Republic of Ireland electricity market to the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (CRU).
Bright Energy’s exit from the Northern Ireland electricity market will take place on 13th February.
Under the CRU’S customer protection rules, Electric Ireland has been appointed supplier of last resort (SoLR) to take on the failed supplier’s customers.
The SoLR is expected to engage with the affected customers to inform them of this change and of their future options of energy supply.
Commissioner Aoife MacEvilly said: “The CRU’s decision to direct the Supplier of Last Resort process will ensure that Bright Energy customers will not have any interruption to their electricity supply.
“Customers do not need to take any immediate action and will be contacted on their options by Electric Ireland.
“Customers will initially transfer at Electric Ireland’s standard variable tariff, which is lower than the Bright Energy tariff they were on. Following a short period, these customers can then shop around or switch to another supplier or tariff option.”
In a statement, the company said: “Bright undertook a strategic review of its business towards the end of 2021, following sustained and persistent price increases in the wholesale energy market that were having a significant impact on its operations.
“While all options were explored, Bright regrets to announce that it will cease trading in February 2022. The difficult decision was made as a consequence of ongoing market challenges and the relentless rise in wholesale energy prices, which are more than 200% higher than when bright launched in 2020.
“Bright entered into agreements with Power NI in Northern Ireland and Energia in ROI for the transfer of its customer books. Customers were invited to move to these respective providers, or an alternative supplier of choice and the process was completed seamlessly.
“As not all customers instigated a move, Bright engaged with the CRU.
“Bright notified the CRU of its intention to exit the market and, under CRU customer protection protocols, Electric Ireland is the designated electricity supplier of last resort.
“This means that all remaining Bright customers will automatically transfer to Electric Ireland from 26 January. Electric Ireland will engage with customers directly thereafter, all of whom can be reassured that their electricity supply will not be interrupted.”
Bright Energy’s decision to exit the market follows the example of dozens of UK-based energy suppliers that have gone bust in the past few months with the most recent one being that of Together Energy.