As Storm Eleanor saw in the new year with violent storm-force winds of up to 100mph, leaving thousands across the UK and Ireland without power and creating travel chaos, most could be forgiven for feeling the fall out of 2016’s Brexit vote was taking over the very weather systems we love to moan about on our coffee breaks.
Yet, for all the doom and gloom of the tabloids, there is an increasingly warming glow emanating from Ireland’s favourable position. Yes – despite the rhetoric of ‘special relationships’ between the UK and NI Governments, Ireland’s electricity providers and regulators, both North and South, are taking matters into their own hands and securing a partnership of their own, and it’s shining bright on all their all customers.
What is The Single Electricity Market (SEM)?
Curious? OK, Let’s keep this simple. If you’re wondering what exactly is SEM and how does it affect your business – we’ll break it down.
The Single Electricity Market (SEM) came into operation in November 2007, creating a wholesale electricity trading pool between the Republic and Northern Ireland that introduced choice and the ability to switch with more suppliers and consultancies entering the market. Operating across multiple jurisdictions and trading in two currencies, Ireland’s SEM has improved the security of Ireland’s energy supply as well as facilitating higher rates of renewable energy penetration.
Still with us? OK, good. By closely tracking input fuel prices and the costs and bids of generators, SEM has fostered competition and transparency in both the spot market and capacity electricity market in Ireland for almost a decade.
The introduction of the Integrated Single Electricity Market (I-SEM)
Now for the exciting bit: The SEM is undergoing significant change. EU legislation is driving the coming together of energy markets across Europe with the aim of creating a fully liberalised internal electricity market. The SEMC (The decision-making body which governs the market) is leading on meeting the requirements of the European legislation by developing and delivering a new wholesale market on the island of Ireland.
The new wholesale market, as of the end of 2017, is now known as the Integrated Single Electricity Market (I-SEM). This will deliver increased levels of competition which will lower prices as well as encourage greater levels of security of supply and transparency – great news for everyone!
So, for the likes of Northern Ireland where it was physically impossible to change suppliers previously, it can now avail of a joined up network working in advantageous conditions for both companies and customers – put simply, there has been no better time to change energy providers!
Switch to secure the right deal
As plans are not yet finalised for I-SEM and the changes could take a while to implement in the market, Utilitywise can offer 1 – 5 year deals to switch your electricity provider and make your prices work in your favour now. And if you needed any more reassurance – 80% of new customers choose to switch their supplier following our thorough and FREE bill analysis process.
Talk to a Utilitywise advisor today to see how you can get the right deal for your business today: call +44 (0) 191 425 7935 today.