Two utilities will still comptete for customers

Plans to sell power generation palnts belonging to the ESB and Bord Gais Energy should have no impact on consumers, writes Charlie Weston.

The two semi-states have been competing hard to take custoers off each other. But any sell-off would still mean them continuing to compete for customers, said energy specialist Simon Moynihan of price comparison site Bonkers.ie.

"Competition will help keep prices in check no matter who owns them," he said.

The ESB, now called Electric ireland, lost 900,000 customers in the past 18 months. Most of these ended up getting their electricity from Bord Gais following it's "big switch" campaign.

Accounts out this week show ESB Electric Ireland division, which sells electricity and gas businesses and households, lost more than €13m in the first half of last year.

This was less than half the €32.4m deficit it recorded during the same period in 2010.

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