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Rabbitte, Pat

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ESB (Electronic Communications Networks) Bill 2013: Instruction to Committee

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ESB (Electronic Communications Networks) Bill 2013: Instruction to Committee

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ESB (Electronic Communications Networks) Bill 2013: Instruction to Committee

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Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Pat Rabbitte)

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Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Pat Rabbitte)

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Pat Rabbitte

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Snippet Contents:

I move: I am proposing this motion on foot of the Government decision, which I announced last December, to change the name of Bord Gáis Eireann to Ervia in the context of the sale of the energy business of Bord Gáis Éireann. The Gas Regulation Act 2013, which was enacted late last year, provided for the sale of the energy business of Bord Gáis Éireann. The transaction process is well advanced. On 12 December last, a consortium comprising Centrica plc, Brookfield Renewable Power and Icon Infrastructure was selected as the preferred bidder. As part of the sale process, the ownership of the Bord Gáis Energy brand will transfer to the new owner. When the bidders have acquired the Bord Gáis Energy business and its brand, Bord Gáis Éireann may no longer use the words "Bord Gáis" in the name or brand of its group or network business.
This amendment will provide for the change of name and allow brand transition arrangements to be put in place when the sale has been completed. It is envisaged that the overarching sale agreement will be signed in the coming weeks, with the transaction to be completed in the following months. Bord Gáis Éireann has given careful consideration to appropriate alternative names, having regard to the changing nature of its business in light of the sale of the energy business and the establishment of Irish Water as a subsidiary of Bord Gáis Éireann. The name change from Bord Gáis Éireann to Ervia will take account of the expanding functions of Bord Gáis Éireann. The word "Ervia" is based on the Irish word "Éire" and the Latin word "via" and is intended to capture Bord Gáis Éireann's new role as the parent company of Irish Water together with Gas Networks Ireland, the subsidiary of Bord Gáis Éireann that will have responsibility for the gas networks infrastructure and interconnectors, which are to remain in State ownership.
It is important to note that Ervia will simply be a corporate name. The main interactions with customers and the public will be through Irish Water and Gas Networks Ireland. Therefore, there is no strategy to advertise or market the Ervia name and the costs of rebranding will be kept to a minimum. The change of name requires a statutory footing. I believe the ESB (Electronic Communications Networks) Bill 2013 represents an excellent opportunity to make this provision. Bord Gáis Éireann and the ESB are demonstrating the dynamic and ambitious nature of our State energy companies. They are underpinning economic growth and job creation by investing in critical network infrastructure. This change of name provision will facilitate the ongoing sale process of Bord Gáis Energy. The proceeds from this sale will be available to the Government to support stimulus measures, including through the infrastructure stimulus plan that was announced by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform in 2012.