Business

Evermore founders partner with Maxol in tech-based bid to disrupt the Irish energy market

Maxol Group chief executive Brian Donaldson (centre) with Evermore and Bright co-founders Ciaran Devine (left) and Stephen Devine (right). Photo by Kelvin Boyes
Ryan McAleer

THE entrepreneurs behind a bid for a £300 million gas-fired power plant in Belfast have vowed to disrupt the Irish energy market with a new tech-based energy supply firm.

Derry-born brothers Ciaran and Stephen Devine have joined forces with family-owned forecourt retailer Maxol to establish Bright.

They say their unique software platform and specially designed app will offer just one simple tariff and provide customers with affordable green electricity at a fair and transparent price.

A total of 15 jobs have already been created at Bright’s Belfast headquarters, where is will manage its island-wide operations, with plans to double the workforce in the coming months.

The brothers’ renewable energy company Evermore has already built an £83m biomass-fuelled power station in Derry. It is now working toward an even larger gas-fired plant at Belfast Harbour.

Their latest start-up has already successfully completed a trial period, and will now launch in the Republic at the end of June. It will then be rolled out across the north in late summer.

The brothers claim the technology driven and simplified approach will change how people manage and pay for their energy.

Ciaran Devine says customers will no longer spend time and money managing complex energy tariffs and bills. He said unlike other suppliers, there are no tie ins or exit fees.

“The electricity supply market in Northern Ireland is overly complicated and it doesn’t need to be.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

The Maxol Group’s chief executive, Brian Donaldson, said the venture marked a significant development for Maxol as the group looks to diversify its business by making a move into the renewable energy sector.

“Such a move was an intrinsic part of our growth and diversification strategy, but it was crucial that we partnered with the right people with the experience, technical know-how, entrepreneurial spirit and vision to make it happen.”

Ciaran Devine said the company is also planning to bring its tech-driven approach to the gas supply market later this year.

“That will allow our customers to easily manage their gas and electricity using our app. So, they’ll no longer need to deal with different suppliers and dozens of confusing tariffs,” he said.

“We’ve seen recently how technology can be used to make peoples’ lives easier and that’s what we want bright to do. We’re not just another supplier, we’re here to fundamentally change how this market works by putting the power in consumers’ hands.”

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