THE ASSOCIATION OF Plumbing and Heating Contractors of Ireland (APHCI) has lodged a complaint with the Competition Authority, claiming that Bord Gáis has engaged in anti-competitive behaviour.
Chairman of the APHCI, Sean Giffney, said Bord Gáis had been in “a severe state of denial about overcharging and anti-competitive practices”.
A spokesperson for Bord Gáis confirmed that a complaint had been forwarded to the Competition Authority’s Monopolies Division, but added that any company was free to make a complaint about another to the Authority. The spokesperson said it was standard procedure for such complaints to be sent to the Monopolies Division and that this in itself did not signal the veracity of a claim.
Bord Gáis released a statement insisting that the Competition Authority had not opened an investigation into Bord Gáis Energy or engaged in any correspondence with the company on the matter.
The complaint against Bord Gáis arises from the awarding of a contract to multinational contractor, Sierra (part of Siteserv plc), in 2010. It has been claimed by the APHCI that the contract has prevented independent and local contractors from offering customers access to the Bord Gáis billing system.
However, Bord Gáis said that Sierra was responsible for contracting local independent contractors to work on behalf of Bord Gáis Energy and has no role in Bord Gáis Energy’s financing arrangements with customers and did not prevent APHCI members doing work on behalf of Bord Gáis Energy.