The ESB are to be rebranded as Electric Ireland. The change will take place in April 2011.
As Ireland recoils from the IMF led budget with many families across the nation struggling with energy prices that have spiraled at an alarming rate over the last few years, we are treated to the news that this rebranding is going to cost a mere €7 million.
I am fully aware of the importance of rebranding in some instances, but I fail to see how this rebranding by the ESB is necessary. More than that, I fail to see how a company that has been vigorously defending it’s high salaries (average €75,000 in 2009 including overtime) can justify a spend of €7 million on changing their name to Electric Ireland.
This is not the first time that large amounts of money have been spent on rebranding by a state or semi-state body. Back in 1996 Aer Lingus spent IR£8million (that’s €10.16m to you and I) on tilting their shamrock logo to make it more ‘modern’. It would seem that the ESB may be getting a real bargain when it comes to rebranding, since they will be spending €3million less than their compatriots in Aer Lingus did.
What will the ESB be getting for their new “Electric Ireland” brand? Well, nothing really. The rebranding is actually a condition set down by the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) and comes under the remit of Commissioner Dermot Nolan. Rebranding ESB to Electric Ireland fullfils a condition and will allow the ESB to set its own prices in the residential electricity market.
The ESB under Chief Executive Padraig McManus have said that there will be no impact on pricing as a result of rebranding to Electric Ireland. Padraig McManus was paid €750,000 in 2009 which made him the highest earning person in a state owned body.