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Q1 2014 sees a high rise in the number of domestic electricity switches

Electric Ireland continues to be the dominant force in the retail electricity market, while Bord Gáis Energy remains at the top for gas

The Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) has published its review of the Irish domestic gas and electricity markets for Q1 2014. Domestic gas and electricity markets have experienced changes during the three month period, with the CER report detailing customer numbers and usage.

The report highlights the number of customers switching between suppliers and how much share each supplier had of the market. Market share In the electricity market, Electric Ireland remained the largest supplier in terms of domestic supply, with 57.39% of the market – up 0.19% from Q4 2013.

SSE Airtricity and Bord Gáis Energy are the other two suppliers with a significant share of the electricity market, taking 18.1% and 14.46% of the market respectively. However, Bord Gáis Energy’s share continues to decline while PrePayPower saw its share of the market increase by 0.3%.

The gas market is also dominated by Bord Gáis Energy, Electric Ireland and SSE Airtricity who have 56.03%, 21.08% and 17.25% of customers respectively. But Bord Gáis Energy lost more than 5% of its market share between Q4 2013 and Q1 2014, while Electric Ireland gained 4.31%.

Energia entered the domestic gas and electricity markets in January 2014, providing customers with an alternative option for their energy supply. Although Energia’s market share gain was minimal in Q1, a greater impact is widely expected in remaining quarter results for this year.

Switching gas and electricity

Overall the rate of electricity switches was up 7.6% for Q1 2014 compared to the same period last year. In contrast, the rate of gas switches for Q1 2014 was down by 22% compared to Q1 2013. Some 68,381 customers chose to switch their electricity supplier in Q1, with PrePayPower gaining 8,877 net.

Meanwhile, SSE Airtricity had the highest net loss in the quarter, losing 9,136 customers in the electricity market. In the gas market, Bord Gáis Energy lost 8,325 customers in the quarter, with Electric Ireland gaining 5,625 new customers. Energia and Flogas Natural Gas also made gains, with 2,972 and 166 new customers respectively signing up to these suppliers in Q1 2014.

In terms of new registrations, 3,584 new customers entered the electricity market and 1,490 joined the gas market. Of these, 84.07% of new electricity registrations in Q1 2014 were with Electric Ireland, while 69.66 of gas registrations were with Bord Gáis Energy.

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