Electricity and Gas Price Comparison

cheapest gas irelandWhat are the Cheapest Options For Switching Both Gas and Electricity Providers in Ireland ?

Updated  August 8th 2018 (Takes account of latest price increases due  from Aug and changes to some of the cashback offers)

Hundreds of thousands of people in Ireland have never switched energy providers. Recent figures show that around   half of all electricity and gas customers  have never switched supplier.
Of those that have switched to get a cheaper deal  – 51% have just gone back on the default standard rates after the discounted rate ended.

Our latest Electricity and Gas Price comparison shows that, for average usage  households ,  switching energy supplier could cut energy bills by as much as €386 in just one year.

Question : How many hours would you have to work to earn  €386 in take home pay ? (Answer: About 30 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. ( 11000 Kwh of  Gas and 4200 kwH of Electricity a year .)

These figures take into account all the recent August price increases by the energy companies.

We have assumed that the household is currently on the standard rate of Electricity with Electric Ireland and on the standard rates for gas with Bord Gais Energy. The total charge from August for both fuels would be €1888 in the next 12 months –  if paying bills as received ,not by direct debit.

Switching Dual Fuel – Same Supplier :

1.The best value switching deal for a dual fuel bundle in this scenario is from Panda Power only through the Switcher website  .  This Panda Power offer is with 28% off both gas and electricity rates. This will work out at €1502 over one year (taking account of Aug 1st increases). A saving of €386

2. The second best price for dual fuel is  on the  Energia website using the promo code CHEAPDUAL . You will get €50 cashback and 29% off their standard electricity rate and 28% off gas rates for a year. This deal will work out at €1541  in the first year – a saving of €345. (Based on prices from Aug 1st)

Switching to Separate Suppliers for Gas and Electricity  :

Continue reading…


Back to School Allowance 2018

It’s not that long since school finished for most children – but thousands of families will already have got the Back to School Allowance for the next 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).

Update:  August 12th :   Delays : The Dept. of Social Protection said that applications received on 6th and 9th July are still being processed . Customers who have submitted applications upto July 26th will have received a text notification to confirm receipt of their application. No target dates for receipt of payment have been given by the Dept.
The  Dept  have currently closed the phone line for enquiries so that they can concentrate on processing claims .

(* We hope the delay is not as bad as 2011 – when some payments didn’t go out until September.  )

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

How Much Is It  ?

The back to school allowances went up in 2017  :

The 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.

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   0 71 91 93302 or email bscfa@welfare.ie.


Euro Sterling Exchange Rate News

Euro Sterling Exchange Rate  : August  8th  2018 10am

1 GBP = 1.109 EUR

1 EUR =  0.901 GBP

See the Latest  Exchange Rates Here

The pound fell versus the euro for a second straight session on Tuesday. Sterling plummeted in early trade to €1.1151, its lowest level in 5 months.  Brexit is the main reason for the fall as investors start to realise that time for a deal is running out and that a hard, no deal Brexit is looking increasingly likely.

The highest Pound to Euro exchange rate of the past 365 days was €1.158  on 17th April 2018.
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.

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


Free 2 Day Delivery With Amazon Prime in Ireland

The Amazon Prime membership scheme has been  around for a few years now. It started off  with members just  getting free next day delivery on eligible items. It was then expanded to include some free Music (about 2 million songs) as well as a selection of free Films and TV programs.
amazon prime ireland

Before July 2018 , Amazon Prime for Irish residents just included the free next day UK delivery and access to some of the Amazon Prime films and TV.
Since the start of July 2018 – Amazon Prime members in Ireland can now also get FREE priority 2 day delivery to Ireland on all orders (of eligible items) . Normally this 2 day delivery costs a minimum of £14.98.

Not all items sold on Amazon are eligible for Prime – but there are plenty that are.
You can get a free 30 Day Trial of Amazon Prime here .


The normal price of Amazon Prime is £7.99 per month or £79.99 per year.
As well as the free 2 day delivery to Ireland you get access to Prime Video.
Amazon Prime Video for Irish members is not as extensive as the UK version  – but when we checked in July 2018 there were 3221 films available and 360 TV series.

Prime members can also borrow from thousands of ebook titles from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. You also get secure, unlimited photo storage.
Of course Irish residents with Amazon Prime also get free next day delivery to UK addresses.

The easiest way to find out if it is any good for you – is to sign up for the free 30 day  trial  .  If you don’t think it’s worth £7.99 a month you can just turn off the auto renewal before the 30 day trial runs out . If you know you will be ordering a few things on Amazon – such as around Christmas time – that would be a good time to try the free 30 day trial.

The option of Free Super Saver delivery to Ireland on orders over £25 is still available for non Prime members  – but this can take 4 to 6 days and sometimes more.

Amazon Music

Sadly – the inclusive free  “Amazon Prime Music” is not available in Ireland for Amazon Prime members – but their Amazon Music Unlimited option is available in Ireland. It offers 40 million songs including loads of new releases from popular artists.  It costs £9.99/month – and you can get a 30 day  Free Trial of Amazon Music Unlimited Here

You can stream Amazon Music Unlimited songs on your phone , Kindle Fire, Tablet , Amazon Echo , Laptop or PC. You can also download songs to play offline.

Amazon Music Ireland Free Trial