Fourth utility exits Irish market as crisis deepens

A FOURTH energy supplier exits the Irish market.

anda Power, with around 60,000 household electricity and gas customers, is the latest victim of the energy crisis.

It comes after Spanish energy giant Iberdrola pulled out of the housing supply market here, leaving GlowPower and Bright Energy.

The huge increase in wholesale energy costs since the Russian invasion of Ukraine has put resellers like Panda under pressure, making it very difficult for them to start making money again.

Only in August did Panda Power increase its electricity and gas prices. Electricity prices rose by 12.7 percent and gas prices by 25.8 percent.

It was Panda’s second price increase this year. Most recently, they increased their prices in May.

Last year it quintupled electricity prices and quadrupled gas prices.

After the new price increases, the average customer paid around 2,500 euros a year for their electricity and 2,000 euros for their gas.

The company, which is part of the Beauparc Utility Group, only entered the energy supply business here in 2018. Beauparc changed hands last year for around one billion euros.

Company’s customers will not lose supply.

The Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) will start the ‘Supplier of Last Resort’ procedure whereby remaining electricity customers will be transferred to Electric Ireland to ensure their supply is not disrupted.

Gas customers will be transferred to Bord Gáis Energy.

There may be an option for Panda customers to choose their own supply. But there will probably only be days left to do so.

If customers are automatically shifted to the suppliers of last resort, they are stuck on so-called standard tariffs, which are usually very expensive, for a few weeks.

Daragh Cassidy of price comparison site said the announcement was not surprising given the bloodbath in energy markets at the moment.

“Panda had no facilities to generate electricity and was therefore highly exposed to rapidly rising gas and electricity prices in the wholesale markets.”

He said Panda is now the fourth supplier to exit the Irish market in a matter of months, after GlowPower, Bright Energy and Iberdrola.

“It’s likely that more suppliers will drop in the coming months,” Cassidy said.

He said the news shattered the populist narrative of imposing a windfall tax on all energy companies.

It proves once again that many energy companies are indeed struggling and that any unexpected tax needs to be carefully considered and targeted to ensure it doesn’t cause more carnage.

Panda’s garbage recycling company, one of the state’s largest garbage collectors, imposed double-digit rate increases on households this month.

Panda Recycling, which has 360,000 private customers, increased garbage collection fees by more than 12 percent and also raised its service fees.

The company blamed an increase in the cost of diesel to fuel its trucks. Fourth utility exits Irish market as crisis deepens

Fry Electronics Team

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