Electric Ireland to expand into Northern Ireland
Energy company Electric Ireland is expanding into the residential market in Northern Ireland.
The £5 million investment will create 45 jobs.
Electric Ireland, which is part of the ESB group - Ireland's largest electricity provider, has been operating in the business market north of the border for almost 15 years.
The company is opening a new office in the Gasworks area of Belfast city centre.
Thirty people have already been hired to work in the customer service centre, with the further posts due to be created in early 2016.
Electric Ireland's entry into the market brings to four the number of companies competing for customers. Power NI, SSE and Budget Energy already supply electricity to Northern Ireland homes.
Jim Dollard, executive director of Electric Ireland, said: "We are bringing a very different offer to the market.
"We are not seeking to lure people with the appearance of upfront discounts that are unclear and fall away."
He added: "We have a long established presence in Northern Ireland having provided energy to the business sector since the market first opened to competition 15 years ago. We will use this experience to deliver on good value products and excellent service to residential customers that we are confident will address the issue of inertia that has affected the market to date.
"We are looking forward to building on the solid foundations the Electric Ireland brand has in the marketplace and to developing relationships in both the business and residential markets based on trust and reputation."