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New energy player Bright vows to offer big discounts

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Powering up: From left, Ciaran Devine, Brian Donaldson, CEO of the Maxol Group, and Stephen Devine. PHOTO: KELVIN BOYES

Powering up: From left, Ciaran Devine, Brian Donaldson, CEO of the Maxol Group, and Stephen Devine. PHOTO: KELVIN BOYES

Powering up: From left, Ciaran Devine, Brian Donaldson, CEO of the Maxol Group, and Stephen Devine. PHOTO: KELVIN BOYES

A new player has entered the residential electricity market promising big discounts for householders.

Bright Energy claims it will save customers up to 23pc a year on their energy bills, equating to €225. It says it is offering 100pc green energy.

Its entry into the market means there are now 13 players in the residential supply market.

But experts have accused providers of failing to reduce their prices to reflect a collapse in wholesale energy costs.

Bright is promising that its customers will benefit from falling wholesale costs.

It promises not to put customers on an introductory rate and then automatically move them onto a much higher tariff after a year, as other providers do.

Instead, the supplier said it will treat all customers the same.

The rate will track the wholesale market so that when prices fall, savings can be passed on to Bright's customers quickly, it claimed.

Customers will not be tied into a long-term contract and there are no exit fees if customers decide to leave.

The company says it will offer 100pc green energy, buying it from renewable generators across the State and in Northern Ireland, and on the wholesale electricity market.

Initially supplying electricity, Bright will enter the gas supply market later in the year.

Customers will be encouraged to download its app, where they can submit a meter reading and manage and track usage and costs.

David Kerr, of price comparison site Bonkers.ie, said Bright's pricing is competitive.

"It is aiming to be the Revolut of the energy market with a super sexy app and website. So it is going after the youth market for electricity," he said.

The fact that there are so many players in the energy market has not translated into lower prices for consumers.

Electricity prices here are the fourth highest in the EU.

Belfast-based Bright is the brainchild of brothers Ciaran and Stephen Devine, who founded the energy company in partnership with oil supplier the Maxol Group.

With backgrounds in corporate finance, the brothers launched a firm called Evermore Energy in 2010.

Evermore developed the £83m (€92m) Lisahally combined heat and power plant in the North.

Energy providers are benefiting from a collapse in wholesale energy costs at the moment, with falls of up to 50pc in wholesale gas costs.

There have been some recent price reductions in prices, but these have been modest in comparison to energy price rises over the last few years.

Irish Independent