Panda Power confirms closure of electricity and gas supply business

Customers have less than two weeks to switch to new supplier or they will be moved to suppliers of last resort

Panda Power customers have less than two weeks to switch to a new supplier after the company confirmed it was leaving the Irish electricity and gas markets.

Panda has blamed the closure of its operation on unsustainable price increases in the wholesale energy market. “The commercial decision has been reluctantly taken due to the unprecedented, sustained and insurmountable price increases in the international wholesale energy market,” the company said in a statement two days after it was reported to be ceasing operations here.

It noted that wholesale energy prices have risen by over 600 per cent since February 2021. The company is the fourth supplier to beat a retreat from the Irish market in the face of surging wholesale prices this year following the departures of Spanish energy giant Iberdrola and Bright Energy, and Glowpower’s decision to stop taking on any new business.

Panda Power reassured customers that there would be no disruption to their energy supply, and that there would be an opportunity for them to choose a new supplier. However, any customer wanting to do so must act by September 28th, just under two weeks from now.


Customers who do not choose an alternative supplier will automatically transfer to the Commission for Regulation of Utilities’ (CRU) designated suppliers, Electric Ireland for electricity customers and Bord Gáis Energy for gas customers, from September 30th. However, they will be put on those companies’ standard tariff rather than the discounted rate offered to most customers on switching providers.

The CRU said anyone moved to Electric Ireland or Bord Gais Energy under its supplier of last resort protocol would have to stay with those companies for at least a 90-day standstill period. It said that those customers should contact Electric Ireland and Bord Gáis Energy after they are transferred to discuss other tariff offerings available to them. It also advised customers to submit meter readings to their new suppliers to avoid estimated meter readings and the prospect of larger catch-up bills later in the winter.

CRU commissioner Aoife MacEvilly said the supplier of last resort arrangement ensured that Panda Power customers would have no interruption in supply.

“Panda Power Ltd customers do have the opportunity to switch to a new supplier of their choice in advance of the September 28th deadline, and this can be done quickly and easily through the CRU-accredited switching websites, and,” she said.

Panda Power has approximately 50,000 electricity customers and 10,000 gas customers and represents 2 per cent of all domestic electricity customers and 1 per cent of all domestic gas customers, the CRU confirmed. Panda Power Business customers account for 3 per cent of all business/SME electricity customers and 0.04 per cent of all business gas customers, it added.

Panda Power said it would work with all affected employees to redeploy them in the wider group, which is owned by Meath-based Beauparc Utility Group, and has guaranteed that there will be no compulsory redundancies as part of this process.

“The international energy market is facing unprecedented challenges, with wholesale energy costs having risen to unsustainable levels. Over recent months Panda Power has examined all possibilities of absorbing additional cost internally and minimising customer price increases,” a spokesperson said. “Despite our best efforts this is no longer possible, and we cannot justify imposing on customers the substantial price increases now necessary.

“We have, therefore, reluctantly made the decision to leave the Irish electricity and gas market in an appropriate manner, with the least possible impact on our customers.”

The CRU on Tuesday confirmed it had been engaging with a supplier in relation to their ongoing participation in the energy supply market. Where a supplier does seek to exit the market the CRU engages the supplier of last resort process. “Under this process the CRU receives representations from the supplier that wishes to cease supply to customers and to exit the energy supply market(s) and the CRU makes a decision on whether to engage the suppliers of last resort,” it said.

“Through this process the CRU’s objective is to agree an appropriate timeline to protect customers’ interests in terms of their choice to switch supplier and to ensure the continuity of supply for affected customers through the suppliers of last resort.”

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times