2021 has been another eventful year for Electric Ireland, as new opportunities and challenges emerged in the ever-changing energy market and as a business, we have continued to adapt to the ever-changing Covid-19 pandemic. Our business customers continued to face unprecedented challenges throughout 2021 and we have continued to focus on adapting to their needs.
From the outset of 2021, like other businesses we had to find a way to continue to connect with our customers virtually. We held our business customer forum virtually with former UK Minister of State for Climate Change and Energy, Claire O’Neill. This was an insightful event where we discussed the impacts of the pandemic and Brexit on the energy landscape in Ireland in 2021. Claire emphasised the importance of international collaboration and energy interconnection, as well as the vital role that organisations play in energy transformation.
Electric Ireland also collaborated with the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce again this year, for the seventh consecutive year, to deliver the Leadership Live event. The event encouraged business leaders to think differently and challenge the status quo, by focusing on innovation, emerging markets, and new customers.
Another long-running event, UCD Smurfit Marketing Development Programme’s business breakfast, supported by Electric Ireland, made a comeback this year. Now in its 19th year, the event concentrated on the issue of sustainable supply-chain development, to inform businesses as to how they can play their part to help combat climate change. This is an important and topical issue, which is imperative for both businesses and wider society in navigating towards a low carbon future.
The topic of sustainability dominated at this event and is also embedded in all of Electric Ireland’s activities. Energy efficiency has not just recently become “en vogue” for the electricity industry , these environmental concerns have in fact always played an integral part in the industry’s evolution. In fact sustainability has become an important value proposition, not just for the energy sector but for all businesses. However, boosting sustainability credentials is not just an exercise in compliance, or an opportunity to enhance reputation, but rather about how businesses can play their part in the low carbon transition.
Looking towards the future, I would like to once again assure customers that Electric Ireland will continue to provide our customers around the country with the services they need, which will be increasingly supported by smart technology. One thing that became clear during the reopening of the sector in the past year, is the growing demand for green energy and we look forward to helping our customers, of all sizes, meet these needs in the year ahead.
Dermot McArdle is Business Markets Manager at Electric Ireland.