Banks Christmas Opening Hours 2016

Banks Christmas Opening Hours 2016 in Ireland

Most of us make visits to bank branches less often these days ,  with online banking and ATMs there is much less need to go into a bank . There are also less of them around than there were a few years ago.
But –  for those of you who might need to get to a bank or a Post Office in Ireland around Christmas 2016 and New Year 2017 – here are the details of their opening and closing  days.

Banks will open and close as normal on Friday 23rd December 2016 and will not reopen until Thursday 29th December.

Post Offices will close at 1pm on Dec 24th and will not reopen until Thursday 29th December.
(UK/NI Banks will be open on Dec 28th.)

Post Offices and Banks will also be closed on 2nd January 2017

If your bank branch normally opens on a Saturday – they may also be open on the morning of Saturday 24th December 2016.

There will be no post delivery by An Post  from 25th to 28th December inclusive.

Credits due into bank accounts from other Banks between the 25th December and 28th December may not be credited to your account until the 29th December 2016.


Electricity and Gas Price Comparison

What are the Cheapest Options For Switching Both Gas and Electricity Providers in Ireland ?

Updated December 6th 2016 .

Hundreds of thousands of people in Ireland have never switched energy providers. Recent figures show that 58% of electricity customers and  53% of gas customers have never switched supplier.
For average households – changing  energy suppliers could cut  fuel bills by as much as €467 in just one year.
How many hours would you have to work to get €467 take home pay ? (About 40 hours for someone on €28k a year).

Note: The price comparisons below are based on what might be typical usage in a medium sized house, using gas for both heating and hot water. ( 13800 Kwh of  Gas and 5300 kwH of Electricity a year .)  We have assumed that the household is on the standard rate of Electricity with Electric Ireland  and on the standard rate of gas with Bord Gais Energy. (The current charge for both would be €2060 a year in this scenario).

Switching to Separate Suppliers for Gas and Electricity  :

The best option if you are on Bord Gais standard rates currently –  is to switch your gas to  Electric Ireland . In the first year this would work out at €683 in year one (includes €175 cashback)A saving of  €241 in year one compared to the €924 cost on Bord Gais Energy standard rates.

If you switch to Energia for electricity through the  Switcher website you will get 33% off their standard rates. (Not available directly with Energia)  This would work out at €910 in the first year . A saving in year one of €226 compared to staying on Electric Ireland’s standard rates.

This combination of two new energy providers will work out at a total of €1593 in year one. A saving of €467 in year one compared to staying on standard rates with Electric Ireland and Bord Gais Energy.

If you are already with those suppliers – the next cheapest option would be to switch your electricity to Electric Ireland (€911 inc €175 cashback) and your natural gas to Flogas (€763). This would work out in the first year at €1674.
You can check Flogas prices and easily start the switch to Flogas on the useful website

Switching Dual Fuel – Same Supplier :

The current best deal  in this scenario , for  switching both fuels to one supplier , is to switch online to Energia  through the website where they are giving 26% off Electricity rates and 25% off gas rates for a year.
This dual  fuel bundle works out at  €1737 in year one for the above usage .  This is a saving of  €323 in the first year compared to staying with the same providers. You can check  the figures for your usage and begin the switch here.

The next best dual fuel bundle in this scenario is direct from  SSE Airtricity at €1742 – a saving of  €318 in year one.

 Note :To get these lower prices with any of the suppliers you usually have to pay by direct debit and have online billing.

See our Electricity Price Comparison Here

The main message is – if you are have never switched and are still on the standard rates from Electric Ireland or Bord Gais Energy  – then switching provider can save you significant amounts of money. Even staying with the same supplier and changing over to payment by direct  debit and electronic billing can get you a reduced price. Even if you switched supplier couple of years ago – it could be worth switching again.  After 12 months most discounted offers end and you go back on higher rates.  You should treat energy supply  like car insurance – shop around when the 1 year contract is over and get a better deal. It only takes a few minutes to fill a form in and it could save you a few hundred euro.

Switching supplier does not involve any wiring changes, pipe changes or disconnections. It just means that a different company is administering your bills. It is still the same electricity and gas coming into your house.

Figures  were calculated  to the nearest euro  Dec 5th  2016  using published tariffs and standing charges on suppliers websites and including VAT, the PSO Levy on Electricity  and Carbon Tax on Gas.
The prices given are for new customers only .

How to Switch

When you  switch electricity suppliers you will need your  MPRN . This is an 11-digit number printied on your electricity bill. If you don’t have it, you can get it by calling ESB Networks on 1850 372 757.

If you’re switching gas suppliers they will need your GPRN . This is a 7-digit number printied on your gas bill. If you don’t have it, you can get it by calling Gas Networks Ireland on 1850 200 694.

You can make things easier by using an online energy switching site such as Switcher to compare prices for your personal fuel usage . Sometimes they have exclusive offers that are better than what you would get by going direct to the energy companies.
Important :  the comparison sites don’t include cashback offers in their calculations – but they do mention them. So make sure you don’t miss out on the best deals by manually adding any cashback offers onto the total savings to work out the cheapest deal  for you.

You could obviously save even more money on your electricity bills by just cutting your energy usage . For  example –  switching any halogen downlighters to Gu10 LED  Low Energy Bulbs (Savings as much as 90%  compared to Halogen 50 watt!)

Insulating your home can also cut your energy bills – see our article about grants for insulation.


Social Welfare Payment Dates Christmas 2016

Social Welfare Payment Arrangements for Christmas 2016
These dates have been  confirmed by Dept of Social Protection )

Note– If you are looking for information about the 2016 Christmas Bonus for Pensioners and Welfare recipients  see here 2016 Christmas Bonus

The Department of Social Protection’s offices will be closed on Monday 26 December, Tuesday 27 December  2016 and Monday 2 January 2017

Banks will close  on Friday 23rd December and will not reopen until  Thursday 29th December.
Post Offices will close at 1pm on Dec 24th and will not reopen until Thursday 29th December.
There will be no mail delivery or collection on December 25th ,26th ,27th or 28th.
Post Offices and Banks will also be closed on 2nd January 2017

Double Payment Week : 19th December

Payments  for People who are paid weekly and collect their payments at Post Offices
All p
eople who are paid weekly and collect their payments at Post Offices will receive their normal payment and an advance/double  payment (for the following week.)  This double payment will be made in the week beginning Monday 19th December 2016 along with your usual payment for that week.

So – any payments due between 26th and 31st December will be made in the previous week along with your normal payment for that week. There will be no “regular” weekly payments during the week beginning Monday 26th December 2016

Any payments due for Monday 2nd January 2017 may be collected from Friday 30th December 2016.

Payments for People who get Weekly Payments Direct to Bank Accounts.

Most customers (except casual Jobseekers) paid weekly direct to bank accounts will receive their normal payment(s) and an advance payment during the week beginning Monday 19th December, 2016. The advance payment will be the payment(s) due in the week beginning Monday 26th December 2016. The following exceptions apply…

  • Payments for Maternity Benefit and Health & Safety Benefit due Monday 26th December 2016 will be paid on the Friday 23rd December 2016.
  • Payments due on Monday 2nd January 2017 for Jobseekers Allowance, Jobseekers Benefit, Illness Benefit, Maternity, Health and Safety Benefit and Basic Supplementary Welfare Allowance will be paid on Friday 30th December 2016.

Normal weekly payment dates will resume from Tuesday 3rd January 2017.

Casual JobseekersPeople who work part time and claim Jobseekers Benefit or Jobseekers Allowance :

Payments due on Tuesday 20 December 2016 will be paid as normal
Payments due on Tuesday 27 December 2016 and Tuesday 3 January 2017 will be credited to accounts on Friday 23 December 2016

People who get Monthly Payments
Monthly payments will issue as normal with the exception of Social Welfare Supplements . All Supplement payments which are due to be paid on Monday 26th, Tuesday 27th & Wednesday 28th December 2016 –  will all be paid instead  on  Friday 23rd December 2016.

Foreign payments due during the week beginning 19 December 2016 will be paid during the week beginning 12 December 2016.


Cheapest Electricity Prices in Ireland

Electric Ireland  (formerly ESB)  used to be the only supplier of Electricity in Ireland – but since deregulation in 2011  electricity prices are no longer set  by the Energy Regulator.
Many thousands of households have switched to SSE Airtricity , Energia or Bord Gais Energy  in order to get cheaper electricity prices. But – many thousands more have never switched – and  could save as much over €220 in 12 months on electricity bills if they changed supplier.
The electricity switching market is competitive,  with companies regularly doing special offers and discount codes or promotions such as free thermostats or cashback.

Who has the Cheapest Electricity in Ireland in December 2016?

We carried out a quick comparison of Electricity  prices in Ireland for new customers at the start of December 2016 and this is what we found:

For homes that use gas or oil to provide heating and hot water ,  an annual electricity usage  of about 5300 Kwh a year would be typical. This is the usage we have used in this comparison.

If you have never switched supplier and you are still with Electric Ireland on standard rates – then you could save as much as €226 in just one year.
Energia have a special offer only available online through the website. This promotional offer gets you 33% off their standard electricity rates for 12 months and would work out at €910 in the first year. (Pay by Direct Debit). They also include 1 year’s FREE boiler & home heating emergency breakdown insurance.
Staying on Electric Ireland’s standard rates and paying by cash/card or cheque would cost you €1136 over the next 12 months. (An extra €226)

If your electricity supply is already with Energia – then switching to Electric Ireland will currently work out as the cheapest deal. They are currently giving all new/returning customers  €175 cashback and a 5.5% discount – resulting in a total cost over year one of €911.  You can easily switch online at the Electric Ireland website.
You can  check out the very latest prices for all suppliers with personalised price comparisons for your actual fuel usage at our partner 

See a Summary of these prices here

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

Be wary of  adverts and sales people offering  the “cheapest rates” or a ” 12% discount ” and “14% savings”  . These  discounts the energy suppliers are referring to – are usually discounts on their own standard rates. Also be aware that standing charges are not the same across all providers – and they could be higher than other suppliers.  Just because a supplier has the cheapest standard rates – it doesn’t mean there are not lower priced discounted offers from other supplier.

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 big difference to the overall cost.

Figures correct 7th Dec 2016