The supplier is, unbelievably, the 13th residential energy supplier in Ireland.
Although energy bills are generally the last thing on consumers’ minds during the warmer summer months, this doesn’t mean there hasn’t been lots going on in the energy market.
All the main suppliers have been competing aggressively for new customers recently with huge discounts on offer to those who are prepared to switch. And now competition in the sector has heated up even more with the arrival of yet another supplier into the Irish energy market: Bright.
Who is Bright?
Bright is a Belfast-based energy supplier. It has been founded by entrepreneur brothers Ciaran and Stephen Devine in partnership with forecourt retailer, Maxol. Ciaran and Stephen already have experience in the energy sector having been operating a large biomass renewable energy plant in Lisahally, Derry, which provides enough energy for over 40,000 homes, for many years.
Bright says it is a technology-driven energy supplier whose specially designed app promises to make managing and controlling households’ energy bills easier than ever.
Bright’s beauty is in its simplicity, or so it claims.
It’s offering just one single variable tariff to everyone – that’s it. This means there’s no big introductory discount for new customers - just a low, everyday unit rate that won’t hike up after your first year is up. So whether you’re a new customer or an existing customer, everyone pays the same rate.
The rate will track the wholesale market, Bright says, so that when prices fall, savings can be passed on to customers quickly.
Also, unlike other suppliers, customers aren’t tied into any year-long contract. So if you sign up and feel like there’s better value to be had elsewhere, you can leave at any time and not be hit with an early exit penalty.
And those who are environmentally conscious will be pleased to know that through its power plant it promises to provide only 100% green electricity too.
Initially supplying electricity only, Bright says it will enter the gas market later in the year.
Technology is a big part of Bright’s offering. It is using the latest technology to ensure a user-friendly experience for customers via the Bright App, where customers can submit a meter reading and manage and track their energy usage and costs easily, and lots more, which should mean no billing surprises!
With its funky app and young founders, Bright in some ways feels like the Revolut of the energy world, which can only be a good thing really.
Transparency, fairness, sustainability
“The electricity market in Ireland is overly complicated and it doesn’t need to be” says Ciaran.
“Bright’s beauty is in its simplicity. We are offering one simple variable rate tariff to everyone – that’s it. So, when prices fall, savings can be passed on to bright’s customers, the way it should be.
“It also means new customers won’t receive an introductory rate before being automatically moved onto a much higher tariff after say, 12 months like you see with most other suppliers in the market. Bright does not differentiate its pricing for new and existing customers but instead we treat all customers the same - fair for all.
“Put simply, we offer what others don’t. Transparency, fairness, sustainability, and convenience – all in the palm of your hand.”
Lower prices ahead?
There are currently 13 residential energy suppliers in Ireland so there has never been more choice for consumers.
When you compare the energy market to the banking sector or the telecommunications sector (or indeed any other sector really) there’s far more choice for consumers and far more suppliers competing for their business. Which is somewhat ironic given how generic a product gas and electricity is – it’s pretty difficult to differentiate your offering from someone else’s for example.
However all this competition hasn’t translated into lower prices across the board for consumers. Average electricity prices here are the fourth highest in the EU according to Eurostat while gas prices are around the sixth or seventh most expensive, despite Ireland having access to its own gas field. The reasons for this are hotly debated but Ireland’s location doesn’t help while our reliance on imported fossil fuels tends to drive up the cost also.
Energy prices didn’t fall significantly when newer entrants Iberdrola and Glowpower entered the market here last year so it remains to be seen what impact Bright will have on energy bills. We’ve also seen some recent entrants such as Just Energy enter the market with much flair, only to exit a short time after. So we'll have to wait and see...
But one thing’s for sure, consumers have never had more choice.
Don’t forget, always compare offers
If you’re considering switching energy provider remember that it’s important to consider all suppliers and deals before you make any big decisions.
The good news is that you can use our free energy price comparison tool to compare all offers across all suppliers right now.