Bright Energy initiates takeover talks with supplier amid soaring costs
A NEW energy supplier set up just last year has confirmed it is in talks with another company, amid reports it could soon be taken over.
Bright Energy was initially launched in June 2020 as a joint venture between the family-owned forecourt retailer Maxol and Evermore Energy, founded by Derry-born brothers Ciaran and Stephen Devine.
The cross-border operation entered the market with the aim of offering affordable green energy and harnessing tech.
But the company said surging wholesale energy costs have had a significant impact on its business.
It comes 12 months on from Bright Energy's announcement that it would create 20 jobs in a new Belfast headquarters.
But according to a BBC report, Bright, which is now wholly owned by the Maxol Group, is in talks with another energy supplier about taking over its business.
The BBC reported that Bright Energy is aiming to leave the energy market by February 2022.
In a statement, the company said: “Bright can confirm that it has undertaken a strategic review of its business following sustained and persistent price increases in the wholesale energy market that have had a significant impact on its operations.
“Wholesale energy prices are more than 200 per cent higher since Bright launched in July 2020, offering 100 per cent green electricity to households across Ireland.
“Bright is in discussions with another energy supplier to discuss the future of the business. As negotiations are confidential and ongoing, additional information will be provided in due course, first and foremost to our customers, our employees and our stakeholders.
“We want to reassure all our customers there is no issue with regard to their power supply.”
It's understood the company has about 1,600 customers in the north.
Record rises in the wholesale cost of natural gas has had a dramatic impact on energy markets across Europe.
In Northern Ireland, where wholesale gas makes up around 50 per cent of domestic gas tariffs, customers are facing huge winter hikes in their bills.
Firmus Energy customers on the Ten Towns network saw their rates rise by 38.2 per cent from last Friday. Rates in the Greater Belfast network are expected to soon follow.
Electricity tariffs, which also factor in wholesale gas prices, have also rocketed.
The north's biggest electricity provider, Power NI, will increase its domestic tariff by 21.4 per cent on January 1.
SSE Airitricity put its prices up by nine per cent on December 1, while Budget Energy, which has 96,000 customers, hiked its tariff by 29 per cent on November 26.