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Ireland Utilities (Gas, Electric,Heating Oil) Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Utilities (Gas, Electric, Heating oil) market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

This report examines a number of energy utilities within the Irish market, including electricity, gas and home heating oil usage – as well as renewable energy sources. Please note that due to a lack of information total customer levels of home heating oil and renewable energy usage is not included in the Market Size section of this report.

Please further note that the value of the gas and electricity sectors is not examined within this report – but rather total customer numbers and energy usage, measured in gigawatt hours (GWh). Please note that data shown in this report relates only to domestic energy usage unless otherwise stated.

What you need to know

Irish consumers are showing increased levels of interest in greener energy sources – with greater attention in the media on climate change and pollution pushing consumers to question their own energy usage. Moving forward, energy suppliers that can effectively highlight their use of renewable energy sources are likely to strongly appeal.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Brian O'Connor, a leading analyst in the Consumer sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Irish consumers are increasingly wanting to take a stronger hold of their energy management, with a high level of consumers wanting more information on their energy usage to help manage their bills, while a significant proportion of consumers noted interest in generating their own energy at home via renewable sources. Brian O'Connor
Senior Consumer Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Issues covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Figure 1: Estimated total domestic customer numbers for electricity vs. gas suppliers, IoI, NI and RoI, 2013-18
            • Figure 2: Estimated total domestic electricity and gas usage, IoI, NI and RoI, 2013-18
          • Forecast
            • Figure 3: Indexed estimated total domestic customer numbers for electricity vs. gas suppliers, IoI, NI and RoI, 2013-23
          • Market factors
            • Consumers facing higher heating and electric prices
              • 2020 renewable energy goals likely to be missed
                • Renewable energy increasingly important energy source in Ireland
                  • Companies and innovations
                    • The consumer
                      • A third of Irish consumers use gas, but heating oil is dominant in NI
                        • Figure 4: Methods used for home heating, NI and RoI, September 2018
                      • Bord Gáis and SSE top gas providers
                        • Figure 5: Current gas supplier used, NI and RoI, September 2018
                      • Former national electricity suppliers remain key providers
                        • Figure 6: Current electricity supplier used, NI, September 2018
                      • Wood burners more used type of renewable energy source
                        • Figure 7: Types of renewable sources of energy, NI and RoI, September 2018
                      • Greater switching activity within the electricity sector than gas
                        • Figure 8: If consumers have switched electricity provider in the last 12 months, NI and RoI, September 2018
                        • Figure 9: If consumers have switched gas provider in the last 12 months, NI and RoI, September 2018
                      • Two thirds want more information to help control usage
                        • Figure 10: Agreement with statements relating to utilities, NI and RoI, September 2018
                    • The Market – What You Need to Know

                      • Electricity and gas customer numbers growing
                        • Energy prices increase in 2018
                          • RoI and UK falling short of renewable energy targets
                            • Strong proliferation of renewable energy sources
                            • Market Sizes and Forecast

                                • Electricity customers growing
                                  • Figure 11: Estimated total domestic customer numbers for electricity suppliers, IoI, NI and RoI, 2013-23
                                  • Figure 12: Residential property sales, NI, 2005-17
                                  • Figure 13: Residential property transactions, volume, RoI, 2010-17
                                • Electricity usage holds steady despite new customer levels
                                  • Figure 14: Estimated total domestic electricity usage, IoI, NI and RoI, 2013-23
                                • Gas customers in NI see 29% increase 2013-17
                                  • Figure 15: Estimated total domestic customer numbers for gas suppliers, IoI, NI and RoI, 2013-23
                                  • Figure 16: Estimated total domestic customer numbers for gas suppliers, by location, NI, 2013-17
                                • Gas usage set to increase from 2018-23
                                  • Figure 17: Estimated total domestic gas usage, IoI, NI and RoI, 2013-23
                              • Market Drivers

                                • Electricity and gas prices increase in 2018
                                  • Figure 18: Consumer price index for electricity and gas, RoI, January 2013 to October 2018
                                  • Figure 19: Consumer price index for gas vs. liquid fuels, RoI, January 2013 to October 2018
                                • NI consumers face price increases too
                                  • Figure 20: Consumer price index for gas and electricity, NI, January 2013 to October 2018
                                  • Figure 21: Consumer price index for gas vs liquid fuels, NI, January 2013 to October 2018
                                • RoI and UK failing to meet 2020 carbon target
                                  • UK/NI experiencing more success in emissions reduction, but likely to miss target
                                    • Renewable energy generation increasing year on year
                                      • Figure 22: Comparable renewables percentages for the UK, by country, 2006-16
                                      • Figure 23: Energy generated by renewable sources for primary energy supply, by million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe), RoI, 2006-19
                                    • Declining consumer confidence in NI may see consumers hesitant to invest in at-home renewables
                                      • Figure 24: Amount that consumers currently have in savings and investments (excluding the value of your main home and any pension savings), NI and RoI, October 2017
                                      • Figure 25: How consumers expect their personal financial situation to change in the next 12 months, NI, April 2017-November 2018
                                      • Figure 26: How consumers expect their personal financial situation to change in the next 12 months, RoI, April 2017-November 2018
                                  • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                    • Ervia subsidiary Gas Network Ireland investing in a renewable fuel strategy
                                      • Firmus and Phoenix Natural Gas announce gas pipe construction
                                        • Renewables could become the focus of the Irish energy sector in the coming years
                                          • The most recently established utilities companies focusing on digital communications with customers
                                          • Who’s Innovating?

                                            • Mandatory Public Service Obligation (PSO) Levy in RoI reduced
                                              • Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) funding 45 projects across IoI
                                                • Potential of blockchain technology could be transformative for the utilities industry
                                                  • Technology changing the way utilities companies interact with consumers
                                                    • Which? warns that energy companies in the UK will be unable to meet the government target of a smart energy meter in every home by 2020
                                                    • Companies and Brands

                                                        • Electricity-only providers
                                                          • Budget Energy (NI only)
                                                              • Figure 27: Budget Energy Ltd., bill pay tariffs, November 2018
                                                            • Click Energy (NI only)
                                                                • Figure 28: Click Energy, domestic bill pay tariffs, November 2018
                                                                • Figure 29: Click Energy, keypad tariffs, November 2018
                                                              • EirGrid
                                                                • Pinergy (RoI only)
                                                                    • Figure 30: Pinergy, tariffs in home electricity market, RoI, November 2018
                                                                  • Gas-only providers
                                                                    • Firmus Energy (NI Only)
                                                                        • Figure 31: Firmus Energy, tariffs in residential energy market, NI, November 2018
                                                                      • Phoenix Natural Gas (NI Only)
                                                                        • Dual-fuel providers
                                                                          • Bord Gáis/Ervia (RoI only)
                                                                              • Figure 32: Bord Gáis, electricity-only tariffs, November 2018
                                                                              • Figure 33: Bord Gáis, standard gas tariff, November 2018
                                                                              • Figure 34: Bord Gáis, large residential gas price plan, November 2018
                                                                            • Electricity Supply Board
                                                                              • Panda Power (RoI only)
                                                                                  • Figure 35: Panda Power, tariffs in the home electricity and gas market, RoI, November 2018
                                                                                • PrePayPower.ie (RoI only)
                                                                                    • Figure 36: PrePayPower.ie, tariffs in home electricity market, RoI, 2018
                                                                                    • Figure 37: PrePayPower.ie, tariffs in home gas market, RoI, November 2018
                                                                                  • SSE Airtricity
                                                                                      • Figure 38: Tariffs used in NI home electricity market, November 2018
                                                                                      • Figure 39: Tariffs used in NI home gas market, November 2018
                                                                                      • Figure 40: Tariffs used in RoI home energy markets, both electricity and gas, November 2018
                                                                                    • Viridian (Power NI and Energia)
                                                                                        • Figure 41: Energia, tariffs in residential electricity market, RoI, November 2018
                                                                                        • Figure 42: Energia, tariffs in home gas market, RoI, November 2018
                                                                                        • Figure 43: Energia, tariffs in residential dual-fuel market, RoI, November 2018
                                                                                        • Figure 44: Power NI, tariffs in home electricity market, NI, November 2018
                                                                                    • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                      • NI consumers stronger oil heating users
                                                                                        • Bord Gáis and SSE top gas providers
                                                                                          • Power NI and Electric Ireland key electricity suppliers
                                                                                            • Fifth of Irish consumers use some type of at-home renewable energy
                                                                                              • One in five has switched electric supplier in the last 12 months
                                                                                                • Consumers want more information to control energy usage
                                                                                                • Heating Provisions

                                                                                                    • NI consumers almost twice as likely to use oil heating than gas
                                                                                                      • Figure 45: Methods used for home heating, NI and RoI, September 2018
                                                                                                    • Oil heating sees strongest use in areas where mains gas isn’t readily available
                                                                                                      • Figure 46: Consumers who use oil heating in their home, RoI, September 2018
                                                                                                      • Figure 47: Consumers who use oil heating in their home, NI, September 2018
                                                                                                    • Gas usage highest among urban dwellers
                                                                                                      • Figure 48: Consumers who use gas heating in their home, RoI, September 2018
                                                                                                      • Figure 49: Consumers who use gas heating in their home, NI, September 2018
                                                                                                  • Gas Suppliers Used

                                                                                                      • Bord Gáis and SSE key gas providers in RoI and NI
                                                                                                        • Figure 50: Current gas supplier used, NI and RoI, September 2018
                                                                                                      • Bord Gáis benefits from heritage standing
                                                                                                        • Figure 51: Consumers who use Bord Gáis as a gas supplier, RoI, September 2018
                                                                                                      • SSE Airtricity largest gas supplier in NI
                                                                                                        • Figure 52: Consumers who use SSE Airtricity as a gas supplier, by gender and social class, RoI, September 2018
                                                                                                    • Electricity Supplier

                                                                                                        • Former national electric companies see most usage
                                                                                                          • Figure 53: Current electricity supplier used, NI, September 2018
                                                                                                        • Power NI shows higher usage among men
                                                                                                          • Figure 54: Consumers who use Power NI as their current electricity service, by gender, NI, September 2018
                                                                                                        • Almost half of RoI consumers subscribe to Electric Ireland
                                                                                                          • Figure 55: Consumers who use Electric Ireland as their current electricity service, by region, NI and RoI, September 2018
                                                                                                        • SSE’s green credentials playing well in both NI and RoI
                                                                                                        • Usage of Renewable Energy Sources

                                                                                                            • Fifth of Irish consumers using renewable energy
                                                                                                              • Figure 56: Types of renewable sources of energy, NI and RoI, September 2018
                                                                                                              • Figure 57: Consumers that do not have any renewable energy sources on their property, by socio-economic group, NI and RoI, September 2018
                                                                                                            • Wood burners most used renewable
                                                                                                              • Figure 58: Consumers who have a wood burner on their property, by age, NI and RoI, September 2018
                                                                                                          • Utilities Supplier Switching Behaviour

                                                                                                              • Fifth of consumers have switched electric supplier in the last 12 months
                                                                                                                • Figure 59: If consumers have switched electricity provider in the last 12 months, NI and RoI, September 2018
                                                                                                                • Figure 60: Consumers have not switched electricity provider or tariff in the last 12 months, NI and RoI, September 2018
                                                                                                              • RoI consumers more likely to switch when it comes to gas
                                                                                                                • Figure 61: If consumers have switched gas provider in the last 12 months, NI and RoI, September 2018
                                                                                                            • Attitudes towards Utilities

                                                                                                                • More information desired to help control energy spending
                                                                                                                  • Figure 62: Agreement with statements relating to utilities, NI and RoI, September 2018
                                                                                                                • Affluent consumers want more tariff information and smart meters
                                                                                                                  • Figure 63: Agreement with the statement ‘More information on tariffs would help me control my energy spending better’, by work status and social class, NI and RoI, September 2018
                                                                                                                  • Figure 64: Agreement with the statement ‘A smart meter would help to both manage energy consumption and lower energy bills’, by socio-economic group, NI and RoI, September 2018
                                                                                                                • Major interest in generating energy at home
                                                                                                                  • Figure 65: Agreement with the statement ‘I would be interested in generating more of my energy at home (ie using solar panels)’, by age group, NI and RoI, September 2018
                                                                                                                • RoI consumers more willing to switch to 100% renewable energy sources
                                                                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                  • Data sources
                                                                                                                    • Generational cohort definitions
                                                                                                                      • Abbreviations