Supplying energy and related-services in Ireland
We report on SSE's performance in Ireland's Retail Energy Supply market following today's announcement by SSE plc of its preliminary results for the year to 31 March 2016.
SSE Airtricity is the second-largest energy provider in Ireland and the only energy supply brand to operate in all of the competitive gas and electricity markets across the island. At 31 March 2016, SSE Airtricity supplied electricity and gas to 0.79 million household and business customer accounts in the Republic of Ireland (ROI) and Northern Ireland (NI), representing a 20% share of the total combined gas and electricity markets in which it operates.
Market conditions remain highly competitive, particularly in Northern Ireland where the regulated electricity market has seen the emergence of new domestic entrants in the last 12 months. In light of competitive pressures, SSE Airtricity continues to invest in its brand and in June 2015 announced a ten-year naming rights deal for The SSE Arena, Belfast, adding to SSE's existing portfolio of UK-wide entertainment venues. SSE Airtricity's Energy Services business continues to expand in both the ROI and NI markets. As a ‘digital-first’ supplier, around 70% of all SSE Airtricity customer interactions are performed via the company’s online, digital and mobile service platforms.
SSE Airtricity reduced its household electricity prices in Republic of Ireland by 2% from 11 January 2016, following an earlier 2% cut to electricity along with a 4% cut to gas prices in April 2015. In Northern Ireland, the company reduced its electricity prices by 8% in April 2015 and by a further 1.3% from 11 January 2016.
In Northern Ireland’s Greater Belfast natural gas supply network, where SSE Airtricity is the regulated supplier with a 73% market share, the company reduced its gas prices by 10% from 1 October 2015. This followed an earlier 7.8% cut in its regulated prices in April 2015. The setting of SSE Airtricity’s regulated natural gas prices, including any changes to those prices, follows a Price Control review conducted every six months by the Northern Ireland Utility Regulator.