Once you become an EV driver you tend to start thinking much more about electricity. The kilowatt-hour becomes more than just an abstract concept and your new-found understanding usually leads to the search for savings with your home’s energy consumption too.
The annual hunt for the best electricity price may have changed forever as Ireland has a brand new disrupter in the industry, bright energy.
Bright launched in the RoI in July and will become available to domestic customers in Northern Ireland very soon too. We talked to co-founder, CEO and EV driver Ciaran Devine about the bright future…
Hi Ciaran, many thanks for inviting us down to see the new bright HQ. Can you start by telling us a little about your background and what led you to start bright Energy.
Hi NIEVO, many thanks for dropping by. We’ve been working in the energy sector for over 10 years now and we were the original founders of the Lisahally Power Station, Ireland’s largest renewable energy power station. We’ve always been interested in seeing how a technology first based approach could disrupt the energy supply market so together with Maxol Energy, Ireland’s largest forecourt operator, we formed bright to bring affordable green energy to everyone.
Tell us what bright is and how you are disrupting the energy market?
Bright is Ireland’s first digital energy supply company and we offer green affordable energy on one simple tariff. We decided to simplify our offering by giving all our customers the same price so they always know they’re on our best tariff. We have no contract tie-in’s and no exit fees so the onus is always on us to give the best possible price and service and in turn we hope our customers will reward us with their loyalty.
So you won’t be offering multiple tariffs like the other providers?
The simplicity of bright is that we offer our one simple variable tariff for everyone. No gimmicks, no discounts and no 12 month price hikes. Our best price is our one simple tariff and this removes confusion for our customers and means our tariff is fair for one and fair for all.
Have you considered a night time rate for EV drivers though?
As a Tesla EV driver myself for the last 2 ½ years, this is something that’s very important to me personally. We have a team at bright who will run trials with some of our EV customers in the coming months so we can learn more about charging habits and get a better understanding of what our EV customers are really looking for. We will use the data to help us roll out our EV tariff later this year.
Can you explain how you source your electricity and is it guaranteed 100% renewable?
We’ve been a significant renewable energy generator for the last five years generating renewable electricity for over 32,000 homes and businesses each year so launching bright as a 100% green energy supplier was very important to us. We buy all our electricity from the single electricity market and will partner where possible with other renewable generators such as wind and solar across NI and the ROI. Our energy mix is independently certified each year by the UR and the CRU to guarantee it comes from 100% renewable sources.
You’re an all-island provider and you’ve just gone live in Ireland. Can you tell us when you start in Northern Ireland?
Yes we’ve invested significantly in our technology so we can serve customers on both sides of the border. We launched in the ROI on the 1st July and we’ve been overwhelmed with the interest. We launch in the NI in mid September and we opened a pre registration list on our website for those who want to sign up early. As the first new energy supplier to enter the NI market in over 6 years, we’re excited to launch such an innovative and tech focussed supply company that will provide an average customer in a 3 bed home with over £200’s of annual savings as well as a fantastic user experience.
What sort of meters do you think Northern Ireland needs and will we see time based pricing anytime soon?
At bright we’ve future proofed our business by incorporating smart metering requirements into our technology from the outset. Real time pricing is incredibly important to the consumer however the investment cost of rolling out this type of metering can potentially be very expensive and needs to be managed carefully especially in a region like Northern Ireland. So we’re watching these developments closely and we will be working with NIE as they role our their plans for any upgrades to the current meter offering.
Do you think we’ll see Vehicle to Grid in use in the next 10 years?
Yes absolutely. We’ve seen the technology working in the UK and we can see how at scale it can be part of the way energy markets can balance supply and demand. With the pace of innovation year on year and the growing demand for EV’s its only a matter of time before V2G becomes more widely available and accepted by system operators.
With your link-up with Maxol do you intend to add an EV charger network to their forecourts?
I can’t talk too much about our plans here at this early stage but let’s just say partnering with Ireland’s largest network of forecourt operators was a strategic decision for both parties. At our own business Evermore Energy we’ve done a lot of work on potential EV charging networks so this is definitely an area of growth that we’ll be focussing on going forward.
Many thanks for talking to us Ciaran. Where can people find out more about bright energy?
You can find us on brightenergy.com Please sign up to our pre registration list and we’ll let you know as soon as we’re ready to launch in NI.