Pinergy, the pay-as-you-go electricity company that signed up rugby star Paul O'Connell for its latest television advertising campaign, is trailing far behind its main competitor, PrePayPower, according to new figures from the energy regulator.
PrePayPower, which was set up in 2009, is thought to have about 50,000 customers. Andrew Collins, who made tens of millions of euro about three years ago when he sold his stake in the online insurance broker, 123.ie, is a director of PrePayPower. Ulric Kenny, a partner and founder of corporate finance firm Ion Equity, is also a director of PrePayPower.
Pinergy and PrePayPower allow consumers to pay for their electricity as they use it – a system that is popular with cash-strapped families who need to control their budget.
Pinergy, which launched its pay-as-you-go electricity service in early 2013, signed up no more than 1,636 customers in June and July – while PrePayPower wooed 9,682 customers over the same months, according to the latest figures from the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER).
A spokesman for Pinergy said 5,000 customers had signed up to the company since it launched in early 2013 – and that a further 1,000 customers were waiting to be signed up.
"We're very happy with our growth," said the Pinergy spokesman. "PrePayPower has been in operation for a considerably longer time than us."