As we wrote a few weeks ago – the sale of Bord Gais Energy to Centrica will result in a name change for Bord Gais Eireann. It is now official – and “Ervia” is legally the new name of the company that is responsible for Irish Water and Gas Networks Ireland . (Gas Networks Ireland will be the new name for Bord Gais Networks.)
Basically the Bord Gais name and brand can no longer be used by anyone other than Centrica. Centrica will soon be the new owners of Bord Gais Energy – the company that supplies gas to thousands of homes and busineses.
See more here about the Bord Gais sell off.
Even though they are only buying a part of Bord Gais – the energy supply part – they will also take the Bord Gais name. So the company name “Bord Gais Energy” will still exist – but it will be run and owned by Centrica.
It does seem strange that a private , for profit, company is being allowed to keep the Bord Gais name when the term “Bord” is an accepted term for a state or semi-state body in Ireland. When people see the word “Bord” in a company name – they will normally assume it is something set up by the state . We have Bord Na Mona, Bord Bia , Bord Bia , Bord Pleanala … etc.
This must be the first time that a private , profit making company has been allowed to use the word “Bord”.
The gas market in Ireland will be fully deregulated from July – which means that Bord Gais Energy will no longer have their gas prices controlled by the regulator. This is very handy timing for Centrica who will be taking over a well known, trusted brand with the largest market share . They will have no need to re-brand and will be able to set prices and do bundled deals that the state owned Bord Gais Energy couldn’t do before. The deregulation of Bord Gais Energy will probably mean that their gas prices will fall because Centrica may want to try and get back the gas customers who have moved to Flogas, Electric Ireland Energia and Airtricity where gas prices are currently cheaper. See our page on Gas Prices Compared here
On the subject of company names and state bodies – it is also strange that when setting up Irish Water the government didn’t use the name” Bord Uisce” – which would have made more sense. But maybe that is because it could have caused problems in the future when/if it also gets sold off to a private company?
The name change from Bord Gais Eireann to Ervia and the change from Bord Gais Networks to Irish Gas Networks is now official – but there is no sign yet of any changes to websites etc. There will be many hours of work and probably many thousands of Euro required to complete the name change – which will involve websites, domain names, signage, vehicles, uniforms etc etc – something Centrica will not need to do.
Last week the European Commission cleared Centrica’s takeover of Bord Gais Energy. They said that Centrica’s expansion in Ireland did not pose any problems to competition in the energy supply market and that Bord Gais’ UK business was not large enough to give Centrica any competitive advantage there.