Cheapest Electricity Provider

Many thousands of people have never switched electricity provider  – (about 36% of households)  and  these people could save in the region of €200   in just 12 months on electricity bills if they changed supplier.

Electric Ireland  (formerly ESB)  used to be the only domestic Electricity Provider  in Ireland – but since deregulation in 2011 , thousands of households have switched to suppliers such as  SSE Airtricity , Energia or Bord Gais Energy  in order to get cheaper electricity prices.

The electricity switching market is competitive,  with companies regularly doing special offers, discount codes or other promotions such as cashback.

Who has the Best Electricity Deal in Ireland in September 2018 ?

We carried out a quick comparison of Electricity prices in Ireland for new customers in September  2018 and this is what we found:

Higher Usage:
Electricity usage will be higher in larger homes with 4 or more occupants –  and also in smaller households that use only electricity for heating and hot water.  Electricity consumption figures of 6000 kwH or more per year would be possible for higher usage households . The current best switching deal for someone using these amounts of electricity would be with  Energia .

Energia  have a special offer only available online through the Energia website. You need to enter the promo code CHEAPELEC and this will get you 29% off their standard electricity rates for 12 months and  €50 cashback .
This would work out at €1138 in the first year. (Paying by Direct Debit).  This is a saving of €208 compared to Electric Ireland’s standard rates .

Medium Usage
For medium sized homes that use gas , oil  or solid fuel to provide heating and hot water ,  an annual electricity usage  of about 4200 Kwh a year would be typical. (This is the average national usage.)
The best deal currently would be to get your electricity direct from  Energia  . This offer works out at €865 ( with a  29% discount and €50 cashback) and is only available  online with Promo code CHEAPELEC at the Energia Website
This is a saving of €198 on Electric Ireland’s standard rates.

If you are not currently with Electric Ireland for your Electricity supply – then the best deal for medium ussage households is to switch back to Electric Ireland and get €150 cashback which brings the year one price to €869 ) 

Low Usage – smaller households will use less electricity. Typical usage for a 1 or 2 person household that doesn’t use electricity for heating – would be 3000kwh per year. On Electric Ireland’s standard rates – paying bills as they arrive – this would cost €835 a year. You could cut this by €156 in the first 12 months by switching to SSE Airtricity (€679 including €135 cashback).

(Note: If you are not currently with Electric Ireland for your Electricity supply – then the best deal for lower usage households is to switch back to Electric Ireland and get €150 cashback which brings the year one price to €654

In all cases – after the first 12 months , households should look into switching again to obtain the best deal.

See a Summary of the cheapest Electricity  prices here

If you also have gas – take a look at  our  Dual Fuel Price Comparison 

Cashback offers are not included in comparison sites calculations – but we include them. So don’t assume the cheapest deal shown on the comparison sites are actually the best available. Cashback offers can often make a very big difference to the overall cost.

You should really think about switching your energy supplier every 12 months to take advantage of all these special offers – otherwise most providers will just put you back on their standard rates after the first year.
It only takes a few minutes – and as we have shown it can easily save you in the region of €200 just on electricty bills over a year.

Figures correct  15th Sept  2018

electricity comparison


Amazon Prime in Ireland for Students : 6 Months Free

Third Level students in Ireland can now get a 6 months FREE trial of Amazon Prime.
If you are a student and you use Amazon – this is a great deal.
On the Amazon Prime Student sign up page – at first glance it looks like it might just be for students at UK universities  – but the free trial is definitely available to students who are studying in the Republic of Ireland . 

Amazon Prime for Irish residents now includes FREE 2 day delivery to Ireland on all Prime Eligible items (and there are millions of them . No minimum order value applies.
(Free next day delivery to the UK is also included.)

Sign up Page Here

After the trial is over – Prime membership will cost £3.99 per month for Students .  (This is half the normal non student price.) You can easily cancel the trial just before the 6 months is up and you won’t have to pay anything. (Could be very useful for the Christmas shopping !)

amazon prime irish students

Amazon Prime also comes with access to hundreds of free films and TV programs for streaming. The number of videos available to Irish members is not a big as it is for UK based members – but hey .. it’s free for 6 months.


Non students in Ireland can get a 30 day free trial of Amazon Prime  (More about that here.)

But if you have a student in the family – just get them to sign up for the 6 month free trial – and they can do the ordering for you.

To sign up for and use Amazon Prime Student, you must

  • be aged 18 years or older,
  • be a student enrolled in a higher education institution geographically located in the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland,
  • be able to provide proof of enrolment upon request,
  • have a valid academic e-mail address that contains the domain suffix if you’re a student in the Republic of Ireland  or if you’re a student in the UK

If you do not have an e-mail address containing the suffix or, you may still sign up for Prime Student .
Amazon will accept a confirmation letter from your uni/college or a tuition bill for the current term . Amazon will alsaccept an official acceptance letter for the upcoming term (must be printed on official institution headed paper and include student name and address, course details and enrolment date, expected graduation/completion date). Full details can be found when you go through the sign up.

Get your six month free trial here On the Amazon Prime Student sign up page


Back to School Allowance 2018

The new school term has already started  – but it seems that many families did not get their  Back to School Allowance before the start of the school year.

The Back to School Allowance payments were due to be made during the week beginning 9th July 2018.

The Department of Social Protection pays the Back to School payment automatically to many families that qualify. Anyone that qualifies automatically should have had a letter during June stating when and how your Allowance will be paid. If you didn’t get a letter – you will need to apply (details at the end). Those payments should have gone out by 13th July.

Update: Sept 18th :   Delays

The Dept of Social Protection say that  applications received  received on 16 & 17 August are currently being processed and these customers will shortly receive confirmation of the outcome in writing, with payments issuing to eligible customers on a daily basis. e currently being processed and these customers should soon get confirmation of the outcome in writing. Payments will be issued to eligible customers on a daily basis.

The DSP  is asking  customers who have made an application to “bear with them” while they  work to clear the backlog as quickly as possible. The enquiry  phone line is still closed so that  staff can focus on processing customer claims as quickly as possible.  They have an email address

How Much Is It  ?

The back to school allowance paid for each eligible child aged 4-11 on or before 30 September 2018 is  €125

The allowance paid for each eligible child aged 12-22 on or before 30 September 2018 is €250.

(Children aged between 18 and 22 years must be in full-time second-level education in a recognised school or college.)

Note:  Prior to 2011 the Back to School Allowance was  €305 for children over 12 and €200 for children under 12. So we are still a long way off those levels. (A Back to school allowance of €200 for two and three year olds was abolished  in 2012.)

In 2017, Back to School payments of €49 million were made to 151,000 families in respect of over 275,000 children.

Who Qualifies ?

To qualify for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance  you need to fulfil one of the criteria below:

  • Getting a social welfare payment (including Working Family Payment (was previously called FIS) and Back to Work Family Dividend) or a Health Service Executive payment, or
  •  Taking part in an approved employment scheme (back to work scheme) or
  •  Taking part in a recognised education or training course, or
    Involved in an Area Partnership Scheme, or
  • Attending a FET (formerly Fás) or, Fáilte Ireland training course.

There is also a means test  Full rules here

Application Forms for the scheme were available from the 22 June 2018. The closing date for applications is 30 September 2018.

If you need an application form, you can  text BSCFA1  followed by your name and address to 51909   ; or you can collect one at any Intreo or Social Welfare office. Or you can download a form here.

Any person whose circumstances have changed should contact the Department of Social Protection at 1890 66 22 44 or   071 91 93302 or email


Euro Sterling Exchange Rate News

Euro Sterling Exchange Rate Today : September 12th 2018 11am

1 GBP = 1.121 EUR

1 EUR =  0.891 GBP

At the end of August the pound hit an 11 month low of €1.1026 against the Euro as the Prime Minister Theresa May said that a no deal exit from the EU wouldn’t “be the end of the world”.
There has been some recovery of Sterling since then   – helped by some positive figures such as UK wages increasing by 2.9% in the three months to July. The pound also received a boost from news that BoE Governor Mark Carney will extend his term to 2020.
See Today’s  Exchange Rates Here

Sterling did not perform too well overall in 2017 – at its lowest point the Pound went to just €1.08 – down from €1.31 in the month before the Brexit referendum in 2016. The highest Pound to Euro exchange rate of the past 365 days was €1.158  on 17th April 2018.

With so much  uncertainty in the currency markets at the moment –  it could get quite stressful for people or businesses planning large Euro / Sterling exchanges in the next few months.   We are in a period of rate volatility which, depending on your timescales and budget, could cause problems if you are not properly prepared.

Using a Currency Exchange specialist  can remove some of the uncertainty by allowing you to fix an exchange rate as much as 12 months in advance of your transfer.  For good deals on currency exchange for large amounts –  for personal money or for businesses – see our page on how to get the Best Exchange Rates



money transfers

You might also be interested in this information about  Transferring  Money between Ireland and the UK

If you are just looking to buy some Pounds for a holiday  – take a look at our page about the best place to buy Sterling in Ireland