A THIRD energy supplier has announced that it is leaving this market.
Spanish energy supplier Iberdrola said Irish gas and electricity is exiting the retail market.
This comes after Bright Energy and Glopower pulled out of the Irish market over the past few months due to rising wholesale energy costs.
And after 35 separate hikes last year, all major suppliers have raised double-digit prices for consumers this year.
Iberdrola said the move is the result of an internal strategic review which found that market conditions and pricing were an obstacle to its planned growth and ambitions in Ireland.
It said the situation has been worsened by unprecedented increases in global wholesale energy costs in recent months.
The business said the exit would be “controlled” and it has formally informed the Commission for Regulation of Utilities of its decision.
Iberdrola said the regulator has been asked to initiate the automatic transition of Iberdrola customers’ gas and electricity accounts to their designated suppliers.
Gas customers will be moved to Board Gas Energy while electricity customers will be transferred to Electric Ireland.
A spokesperson for Iberdrola’s retail business in Ireland said: “Despite our best efforts, it has become increasingly clear that the dynamics and pricing within the Irish energy supply market means what we are looking for for our retail business in Ireland. You can’t get what you want.
“Without the ability to achieve long-term customer growth on both a competitive and commercial basis, we have made the difficult decision to leave the supply market in a controlled, responsible and fair manner with minimal impact on our customers.
“We will work closely with CRUs, Gas Point Registration Operators and Meter Registration System Operators to ensure a smooth and seamless transition for our customers and we thank each of them for their support over the past three years.”
Darragh Cassidy of price comparison site Bonkers.ie said Iberdrola is the second supplier to exit the Irish market in recent months, following Bright’s exit at the beginning of the year.
Another energy supplier, Glopower, stopped taking on new customers several months ago, and its future in Ireland remains highly uncertain.
At one time, there were 14 residential energy suppliers in Ireland, a large number given the small size of the Irish market. So there was always the possibility of exit and consolidation, he said.
“Like previous casualties, Iberdola struggled to gain a large market share, and the recent energy crisis may have only exacerbated things,” Mr Cassidy said.
Just Energy also exited the Irish market in mid-2019.