Bord Gáis

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Bord Gáis Éireann
Type Statutory Corporation
Industry Natural gas
Founded Cork, Ireland (1976)[1]
Headquarters Cork, Ireland
Key people John Barry (acting), Chief Executive
Ed O'Connell Chairman
Products Natural gas
Revenue €1,349m (2009) [2]
Employees 1,000+ (2009) [3]

Bord Gáis Éireann (Irish pronunciation: [ˈbˠɔɾˠdˠ ˈɡaːʃ ˈeːrʲən̪ˠ], meaning "Gas Board of Ireland"), normally branded as Bord Gáis, which is to be renamed as Ervia in 2014,[4] is the main supplier and distributor of pipeline natural gas in Ireland. The state owned company has built an extensive network across Ireland.[5] The company supplies gas to domestic and industrial customers on a fully regulated basis. The tariffs for customers are determined by the Commission for Energy Regulation. In December 2013 it was announced that the BG Energy division would be sold to a consortium led by Centrica, the company that owns both British Gas and Scottish Gas.[6] Bord Gáis is the parent company of Ireland's largest utility company, Irish Water.


Bord Gáis Éireann was established as a semi-state company by the Irish government in 1975 to replace a series of private-sector small city-based gas companies, some of whom had got into financial trouble. The company was originally established as a private limited company by shares, Bord Gáis Éireann Teoranta, before being converted to a statutory corporation under the Gas Act 1976, the primary legislation under which BGE operates.

The oldest of the small private companies was the Alliance and Dublin Consumers' Gas Company, which had been founded in the early nineteenth century by Daniel O'Connell, a prominent Irish politician and Lord Mayor of Dublin. After initially supplying the company (known simply as Dublin Gas by the 1980s) with wholesale natural gas, Bord Gáis acquired the assets of the company when it went into receivership in 1987, including its head office in D'Olier Street, Dublin. Other town gas companies were acquired by Bord Gáis in Cork, Limerick, Clonmel, and Kilkenny. Bord Gáis is headquartered in Cork city, though it also has had a substantial presence in Dublin since the acquisition of the assets of Dublin Gas.

In 2002 Bord Gáis sold the landmark Art Deco Dublin Gas head office building in D'Olier Street, Dublin to Trinity College Dublin. this building was designed by Robinson and Keefe Architects in about 1928. The exterior is clad in grey and black stone. The interior which was originally lit by Gasoliers still remains as a protected structure. Bord Gais moved to purpose built premises in Foley Street which is now the main offices of Bord Gáis Energy. Bord Gais now have offices at lower Mount Street.

For nearly two decades the main supply of gas available for Bord Gáis came from a Marathon Petroleum owned gasfield near Kinsale, off the Cork coast. This gas field had been found in 1971, the same year as the foundation of the Nuclear Energy Board. This gas field comes ashore at Inch, Co. Cork.

Bord Gáis Networks[edit]

Bord Gáis Networks Logo

The company has a network between Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick and Waterford with a number of spurs, this network is connected to Scotland via two separate interconnectors and also has a spur to the Isle of Man which supplies the Manx Electricity Authority. Most of its modern gas supply is imported. A new gas field known as the Corrib off the Mayo coast is scheduled to come onstream by 2016, however Bord Gais will only be purchasing a small amount of the offtake, the majority will be traded on the Intercontinental Exchange.


On 4 July 2008, an "arms-length" subsidiary of Bord Gáis, Gaslink was established to perform the role of transmission and distribution system operator. For now, Bord Gáis Networks still exist and manages the network on behalf of Gaslink. It is planned however that many of its functions will transfer over to the new body [1]

Bord Gáis Energy[edit]

Bord Gais Energy Logo with Strapline.jpg

This is the retail (industrial, commercial and residential) division of its gas and electricity products and is based in Dublin. On 18 February 2009, Bord Gáis Energy Supply rebranded as Bord Gáis Energy, with a new logo. It also entered the domestic electricity market on that date, having supplied electricity to business customers for some time.

Deregulation of the Irish gas market[edit]

The major public utility companies underwent major reform in the early 2000s, following the creation of the Commission for Energy Regulation. The structure of Bord Gáis has evolved over time to adapt to regulatory and market conditions. Bord Gáis now has two main business streams – Networks (formerly Transmission and Distribution) and Energy (formerly Energy Supply). The company’s primary activities are the development and operation of gas networks and the supply of gas and electricity. Further restructuring is underway to meet the legal unbundling requirements of the EU Gas Directive 2003/55/EC. The Gas Directive requires that, in the case of vertically integrated utilities such as Bord Gáis, the Transmission System Operator (TSO) and the Distribution System Operator (DSO) functions to be legally and functionally unbundled from activities not related to these functions, although a combined DSO/TSO is permissible. Therefore a new independent subsidiary, Gaslink, has been established to fulfil the functions of the Irish TSO and DSO and will gradually take over much of the operations of Bord Gáis Networks.

All natural gas customers are now eligible to change gas supplier from Bord Gáis Energy to an alternative shipper.

Deregulation of the Irish electricity market[edit]

On 18 February 2009, Bord Gáis Energy entered the residential market, joining Airtricity and ESB Customer Supply. The market was deregulated in 2007.It offers 10% discount off ESB Customer Supply prices similar to the discount on offer by Airtricity also, during 2009 and 5% off it from 2010, and 2011. It offers an additional 2% discount for direct debit customers over Airtricity and a further 2% for Bord Gáis gas customers as at that date.

Market share[edit]

As of May 2010 Bord Gáis has over one million gas and electricity customers.

In June 2010, Bord Gáis created Ireland's first energy index[7]

[8] [9] [10]

Home services[edit]

Bord Gáis provide a number of value added services such as boiler servicing and power flushing. They have recently opened the first web shop of its kind.[11]

Separation and sale of Bord Gáis Energy[edit]

The European Union's Third Energy Package requires unbundling of vertically integrated energy undertakings with the separation of supply and transportation functions.[12] [13] During 2011, BGE created a separate Bord Gáis Energy division.[14] The division includes Retail, Trading and Assets units.[15]

In February 2012 the Irish government announced its intention of selling Bord Gáis Energy as part of the reforms required following the banking crisis bailout.[16] In November 2013, Pat Rabbitte, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources said that none of the bids received met the government's valuation of BG Energy.[17] However, on 13 December 2013, Rabitte said the original three bidders for BG Energy had come back with increased bids and a consortium comprising Centrica, Brookfield Renewable Power and iCON Infrastructure had submitted a revised bid which was acceptable to him and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin. The sale for €1,120 million is expected to be completed in the first half of 2014.[6] Under the proposed sale, Centrica would buy the Retail unit, Brookfield Renewables the wind power unit and iCON infrastructure would acquire firmus energy.[18]

Subsidiary companies[edit]

Bord Gáis operates a number of subsidiary companies BG CoGen and Combined Heat and Power business and Aurora Telecom a telco venture which is now a dark fibre leasing company.


Bord Gáis bought the SWS wind energy company in late 2009.[19] SWS operates a number of wind farms in the Munster and Ulster.[20]



Bord Gáis has an ambitious plan to develop the gas market in Northern Ireland. A pipeline from Carrickfergus to Derry was completed in October 2004 and now serves Coolkeeragh Power Station. A second pipeline, known as the South-North pipeline, was commissioned in October 2006. It runs from Gormanston in the Republic to join the Carrick/Derry pipeline near Antrim creating an all-Ireland network and providing redundancy in case of problems with either Scotland - Northern Ireland pipeline or the Scotland - Republic of Ireland interconnectors.

The Utility Regulator for Northern Ireland has awarded Bord Gáis a licence to supply homes and businesses in the towns and cities near the two pipelines - Antrim, Armagh, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Banbridge, Craigavon, Derry, Limavady and Newry - where the local subsidiaries of BG use the trading name of firmus energy. On 1 December 2005, firmus launched their first supply in Northern Ireland, to the large Michelin tyre factory in Ballymena.[21] On 25 April 2006 firmus connected its first residential customers in Derry.

The decision to award this licence was widely disputed and Phoenix Gas, the incumbent in Belfast and the surrounding area, launched a judicial review of the decision to award it to BGE, they claimed that it was more of a political decision and they claimed that Bord Gáis will lose a significant amount of money and that the business will be loss making.

Firmus energy are also competing to supply gas and electricity to large industrial and commercial customers across Northern Ireland. They supply gas in Belfast to Northern Ireland's largest bakery, Allied Bakeries[22] and have been awarded an electricity supply licence.[23] 0n 30 March 2009, the company said it had signed up Ballymena soft drinks manufacturer Norbev as its first electricity customer.[24]

In the autumn of 2009, a consortium of BGE (Northern Ireland) and Storengy, a company of GDF Suez, will be undertaking a seismic survey of land in the Larne area to determine if there are salt layers that could be used for the storage of natural gas.[25]

Irish Water[edit]

Main article: Irish Water

The Water Services Act (2013) formally created Irish Water as a subsidiary of Bord Gáis,[26][27] to provide "safe, clean and affordable water and waste water services" to water users in Ireland.[28] Public concerns on operational,[29] documentation,[30][31] and financial[32] issues were highlighted throughout the initial months of the subsidiary's operations.[33]

Irish Water is accountable to two regulatory bodies, the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) who is the economic regulator for the water industry, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) who is the environmental regulator.[34]

Neither Irish Water nor the CER has published any analysis of the cost of consumption during the consultation process.[35] In economic terms, to understand affordability, one has to consider total consumption costs. However, Irish Water's parent Bord Gáis directly sells and installs limited life-span ion-exchange units,[36] where the initial cost is €1100[citation needed], with ongoing costs for electricity, salt and flushing water[citation needed].

Former operations[edit]

Bord Gáis Energy has twelve stores (branded Energy Supply Stores) around the country, however they are run on a franchise basis and not by Bord Gáis itself. In 2002 Bord Gáis Natural Gas Showroom in D'Olier Street, operated by the company itself, was closed, in 2006 its Cork company-owned showroom was also closed.

Main offices[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Gas Act, 1976". 1976-07-19. Retrieved 2014-07-31. 
  2. ^ "Bord Gáis :: Financial Highlights". Retrieved 2014-07-31. 
  3. ^ "Bord Gáis :: About Bord Gáis Éireann". Retrieved 2014-07-31. 
  4. ^ "ESB joins Bord Gáis in deciding it is better to borrow from Peter to pay Paul". Irish Times. 2014-07-29. Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  5. ^ "View the Network". Pipeline Maps. Bord Gáis. Retrieved 26 July 2010. 
  6. ^ a b "Bord Gáis Energy to be sold to consortium led by Centrica for €1.12 billion". RTE News. 2013-12-13. Retrieved 2013-12-15. 
  7. ^ Bord Gáis creates Ireland's first energy index
  8. ^ Business and Finance Magazine
  9. ^ Sunday Business Post
  10. ^ The Irish Times
  11. ^ Bord Gáis Energy Shop
  12. ^ Directive 2009/72/EC of 13 July 2009 concerning common rules for the internal market in electricity and repealing Directive 2003/54/EC
  13. ^ Directive 2009/73/EC of 13 July 2009 concerning common rules for the internal market in natural gas and repealing Directive 2003/55/EC
  14. ^ "Bord Gáis Annual Report and Financial Statements 2012". Bord Gáis. Retrieved 2013-12-15. "Bord Gáis has been actively working to develop an Independent Transmission Operator (ITO) Model in line with the requirements of the Third EU Energy Directive. The intention was to establish a new company within the Bord Gáis Group to undertake the activities of Bord Gáis Networks and Gaslink. Throughout 2011 we completed the operational separation of the Networks business from the Group and Energy businesses in preparation for the establishment of this ITO." 
  15. ^ "Bord Gáis Annual Report and Financial Statements 2012". Bord Gáis. Retrieved 2013-12-15. "
    The retail arm of Bord Gáis Energy, selling gas and electricity to all market segments, with related activities including call centre management, billing, sales and marketing. Bord Gáis Energy entered the residential electricity market in Ireland in February 2009. The business now serves 427,000 gas customers and 348,000 electricity customers across residential, small business and industrial sectors. Through its Home Services Team it offers customers a range of products and services to meet their heating needs and help increase the overall energy efficiency of their homes. In 2012, Bord Gais Energy also launched a business energy services offering, in partnership with Siemens, aimed specifically at helping business customers to reduce energy consumption and increase energy efficiency.
    firmus energy is Bord Gáis Energy’s subsidiary in Northern Ireland and is responsible for both the development of the natural gas network in 10 key towns and cities across Northern Ireland and the supply of natural gas and electricity to over 48,000 customers across the Province.
    Responsible for the procurement of gas, electricity and carbon; portfolio optimisation; risk management; hedging and trading strategies and market modelling. Gas and electricity are bought on wholesale markets by a dedicated Energy Trading team. Bord Gáis Trading operates in line with best international practice and is benchmarked against the market within a regulatory framework.
    Assets was formed in 2010 by integrating the Investment Team of Bord Gáis Energy with SWS Natural Resources following its acquisition by Bord Gáis in 2009. The Assets role is to operate and develop a balanced portfolio of assets that will help the company meet current and future customer energy requirements. The Assets division has three main areas of focus – the operation and maintenance of its existing assets; the development of new assets; and the investigation and support of emerging energy technologies."
  16. ^ "Sale of Bord Gáis Energy". Bord Gáis. Retrieved 2013-12-15. 
  17. ^ Gosden, Emily (2013-11-27). "Ireland abandons Bord Gáis Energy sale". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2013-12-15. 
  18. ^ "Unions disappointed at sale of Bord Gáis Energy". SIPTU. Retrieved 2013-12-15. 
  19. ^ Bord Gáis to creat 500 jobs
  20. ^ SWS Wind Farm Map
  21. ^ Morton, Robin (2005-12-02). "Tyre plant first in switch to gas". Retrieved 2014-07-31. 
  22. ^ "Bord Gáis Signs Its First Customer in Belfast" (Press release). Bord Gáis. 2008-01-17. Retrieved 2009-03-30. 
  23. ^ "ELECTRICITY SUPPLY LICENCE FOR firmus energy (supply) limited" (PDF). Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation. 2008-11-12. Retrieved 2009-03-30. 
  24. ^ "Company signs up first electricity customer". The News Letter. 2009-03-31. Retrieved 2009-04-04. 
  25. ^ "Seismic survey public exhibition" (PDF). BGE. 2009-06-10. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 
  26. ^ "Water Services Act 2013". 2013-03-20. Retrieved 2014-07-31. 
  27. ^!story/Home/News/Irish+Water+to+be+Bord+Gais+Eireann+subsidiary/id/19410615-5218-4f8d-83f9-7f5c05091907
  28. ^ "About Bord Gáis - Bord Gáis". 2014-01-01. Retrieved 2014-07-31. 
  29. ^ Alison Comyn (2014-07-16). "Residents' rage after paths are ripped up". Retrieved 2014-07-31. 
  30. ^ Andrews, Kernan (2014-07-24). "Healy questions Irish Water letter demanding bank account details". Retrieved 2014-07-31. 
  31. ^ Pattison, Brynmor (2014-07-14). "Irish Water: Forms will require householders' PPS numbers and more - Irish Mirror Online". Retrieved 2014-07-31. 
  32. ^ "Irish Water spent €50m despite order to use Bord Gais expertise". 2014-01-13. Retrieved 2014-07-31. 
  33. ^ Paul Melia and Sarah Stack (2014-07-17). "No one wants to pay the fees, admits Irish Water boss". Retrieved 2014-07-31. 
  34. ^ "CER Role ("Working with the EPA")". Commission for Energy Regulation. Retrieved 8 August 2014. 
  35. ^ Multiple documents published up to 2014-08-08
  36. ^