Byline: Ferghal Blaney Consumer Affairs Correspondent
BORD GAIS poached almost 2,000 customers from the ESB on its first day in the power business yesterday.
With a promise to cut up to 14 per cent off electricity bills, the company massively exceeded its target of 2,500 sign-ups a week.
And the news got better when Spanish energy giant Endesa promised to begin competing here as early as next month, forcing prices down even further.
The move by Bord Gais will see the gas company slash household electricity bills by as much as E200 a year by guaranteeing their prices will be at least 10 per cent cheaper than ESB for the first year.
And for two more years they promise they will maintain prices at rates at least five per cent cheaper than their State-owned rival.
If consumers agree to pay by direct debit, they can get another two per cent off, and if they are already a Bord Gais customer they receive a further discount of two per cent - meaning that some consumers can cut their electricity bill a full 14 per cent by switching.
Yesterday's launch saw 540 customers switching to the new electricity company over the phone and 1,300 switching over on the internet.
Bord Gais chief John Mullins said: 'This is the first time since 1927 there's been a competitive rival to the ESB in …