Electric Ireland: Supporting business growth in Northern Ireland

Clare McAllister
, Sales and Marketing Manager at 
Electric Ireland.

For many businesses it seems that the old Chinese curse ‘may you live in interesting times’ has been well and truly visited upon them. Businesses operating under the uncertain economic circumstances that Northern Ireland now finds itself in require strong and experienced leadership and a steady hand at the tiller.

In no area of business is this as true as in the supply of energy. At Electric Ireland we view energy as not an end in itself but an enabler of societal and economic progress and well-being. As a leading energy company we are very conscious of the need to supply secure, sustainable and affordable energy, for the benefit of our customers, our economy and our future and we try to show our commitment to these goals through our investments to underpin social and economic development, security of supply and the achievement of climate change targets.

We have been supplying the business market in Northern Ireland since 2000, initially under the brand name ESB Independent Energy, and currently supply across many sectors of the business electricity market in both the SME and I&C markets. This month we are celebrating our first year supplying residential customers and achieving our ambition of shaking up the market with the consumer council reporting that more people than ever are recognising the choice they now have and are switching supplier.

As part of the ESB Group, which employs around 1,400 people in Northern Ireland we have a long and proud history of commitment to the marketplace starting in the late 90’s with the acquisition and then conversion of the Coolkeeragh Power Station in the North West, which helped drive the extension of the gas pipeline to the North West. In 2010, the group invested in NIE Networks distribution business and has invested in renewable generation across Northern Ireland, with five wind farm sites at present.

With the experience and knowledge of the energy markets that comes from being part of a large, long-standing organisation, Electric Ireland is able to offer our many business clients targeted products suited to their business needs. From solar grant schemes offered through the Northern Ireland Solar Energy Programme funding scheme to product offers such as fixed energy pricing and options which allow customers to track either the electricity ‘pool’ price or the wholesale gas markets, depending on the size of the user, we are flexible and supportive of our customers.

We also offer a range of value added services, such as energy audits, assessment of building energy systems and controls, demand side units, heat recovery controls and optimisation and monitoring as well as tracking software allowing businesses to take control of their energy usage to more effectively manage budgets.

We recognise too that forces such as decarbonisation, competition and technological evolution are dramatically changing the operating context and we are continually innovating to create and grow new opportunities in areas directly adjacent to our core business. A recent example of this is a joint venture with Kingspan Solar offering SMEs and I&Cs a fully funded solar opportunity.

Given our scale and history we are well equipped to navigate customers through changes that are coming down the track; with all evidence pointing to the transition into I-SEM whether the UK is in or out of the EU, Electric Ireland’s experience in transitioning to SEM will be invaluable. The group is also growing its scale and capabilities in all areas from generation through to trading and supply so that we can compete in the new all island competitive environment.

We also work to support the business sector in other ways; an example of this is our commitment to show leadership through our support of the Chamber of Commerce Growing Something Brilliant Series, allowing businesses from all sectors to benefit from the experience of some of the country’s best and most experienced business leaders.

Email: clare.mcallister@electricireland.ie

Tel: 028 90257203

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