Bord Gais Energy has welcomed the announcement by the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) that it will deregulate the small and medium business segments of the gas market on October 1st 2011. This announcement means that the small and medium business gas market will be fully liberalised from that date and that the CER will no longer set or approve tariffs for small business gas customers.
The ‘Roadmap for Deregulation in the Non-Daily Metered Retail Gas Market’ also states that, while the CER will carry out a further review of the roadmap for the residential sector later in the year, Bord Gais Energy will remain as a regulated supplier until its market share has fallen to at least 60%. No decision has been made at this stage concerning retention of the Bord Gais Energy brand.
“We welcome the CER’s decision to deregulate the small and medium business segments of the gas market. This is good news for small and medium business customers as it means that from the 1st October 2011, Bord Gais Energy will be able to compete on an equal basis for the first time and offer improved products and services to our business customers,” says John Mullins, chief executive of Bord Gais.
Bord Gais also welcomes the Commission for Energy Regulation’s commitment to review the roadmap for deregulation of the residential sector later this year. The energy provider would like to see full deregulation take place as quickly as possible but is encouraging the CER to take account of progress in the dual fuel market such as the bundling of gas and electricity products.
John Mullins comments: “We are disappointed at the indication from the Commission that Bord Gais Energy’s market share threshold for deregulation of the residential sector will almost certainly be 60% or lower, before we are allowed compete on equal terms with other suppliers. We have pointed out on many occasions that the gas market is radically different to electricity, particularly in terms of ease of entry for competitors. We would like to see full deregulation take place as quickly as possible.”
He continues: “We also remain of the view that any requirement to rebrand Bord Gais Energy’s retail business is unnecessary. Rebranding is a costly exercise and in the current environment, with price rises looming on the back of significant increases in international wholesale prices, we believe this is an unnecessary expense which will ultimately be borne by the customer. The Bord Gais Energy brand is a valuable asset; it does not impede the proper functioning of the market and therefore it is not in the shareholder or consumer interest to replace it.”