Electricity and Gas Price Comparison

What are the Cheapest Options For Switching Both Gas and Electricity Providers in Ireland 2017

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. Doing an Electricity and Gas Price Comparison shows that for average households – changing  energy suppliers could cut fuel bills by as much as €471 in just one year.

How many hours would you have to work to earn  €471 in 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 €2059 a year in this scenario).

Switching Dual Fuel – Same Supplier :

The best dual fuel bundle in this scenario is to switch to  SSE Airtricity at €1730 in year one  – a saving of  €329 in year one. This is their 10% discount offer with €180 cashback. Available direct through SSE or via Switcher.ie

The second best deal   for  switching both fuels to one supplier , is to switch  to Energia  through the Switcher.ie 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  This is a saving of  €322 in the first year compared to staying with the same providers.


Switching to Separate Suppliers for Gas and Electricity  :

GAS:
The best option,  if you are currently on Bord Gais standard rates ,   is to switch your gas over to  Electric Ireland . In the first year this would work out at €679 in year one (includes €175 cashback).  This is a saving of  €245 in year one compared to the €924 cost on Bord Gais Energy standard rates.

ELECTRICITY:
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 separate energy providers will work out at a total of €1589 in year one. A saving of €471 in year one compared to staying on the 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 SSE Airtricity (€711 including €120 cashback). This would work out in the first year at €1622 – a saving of €437 in year one.

You can check other supplier prices and easily start the switching process on the useful  Switcher.ie website

 

 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 by staying with the same supplier and changing over to payment by direct  debit and electronic billing you can get a reduced price. Even if you switched supplier a couple of years ago – it will be worth switching again.  After 12 months most discounted offers end and you usually get put back on higher standard rates.  You should try and 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 euros each year.

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  January 19th 2017   using published tariffs and standing charges on suppliers websites and including VAT, the PSO Levy on Electricity  and Carbon Tax on Gas. Cashback offers included in calculations.
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.ie to compare prices for your personal fuel usage . Sometimes they have exclusive offers that are even better than what you can 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.

 

Euro Sterling Exchange Rate Update

Euro Sterling Exchange Rate Update : January 18th  2017 9am

1 GBP = 1.152 EUR            1 EUR = 0.89795 GBP

The start of 2017 saw the Euro Sterling exchange rate pick up where it left off in 2016 with sterling slipping by almost 4 cents against the Euro since the beginning of January. Brexit fears are the main reason for the weaker Pound.
A speech by Theresa May about Brexit plans on 17th Jan seems to have boosted confidence in Sterling slightly  – with a 1.5% gain from  €1.138 Euro to around  €1.15. But it is still a long way off the rate before the referendum result.
Sterling fell sharply in June after the decision of the UK to leave the EU. Back on May 24th the Pound was worth €1.316 and during the latter half of July it was hovering around the €1.19  . This week GBP is hovering around the €1.15 mark .

Over the past several months Brexit has cast a cloud of uncertainty over the currency markets. This looks unlikely to change anytime soon.
We expect that when the UK  invokes article 50 – it will result in further fluctuations  in the value of Sterling against the Euro . Other significant events in 2017 that could effect the value of the Euro will be the Dutch election on 15th March  and the French election at the end of April.

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

Using a Currency Broker 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 large amounts of currency exchange –  for personal money or  for businesses – see our page on how to get the Best Exchange Rates

You might also be interested in this information about Transferring  Money from Ireland to a UK Bank

If you are just looking to buy some Pounds , Dollars  or other foreign cash for a holiday  – take a look at our page about the best place to buy travel currency in Ireland

 

euro sterling exchange rate ireland

 

The Price Of Gold

Over five years ago the price of an ounce of gold  reached an all time high : – in July 2011  gold was selling on the London markets at $1,837 an ounce. At the end of 2016 the price of gold had dropped to  around $1.12 an ounce – but since the start of 2017 we have started to see a gradual rise in the gold price to around  $1,210 an ounce (Jan 18th)

Many private small time investors are keen to keep some of their assets in gold .  According to Bullion Vault , which operates vaults in London, New York and Zurich there has been a ninefold increase in the number of gold bullion traders in the past five years.
BullionVault say they  have over 65,000 active customers, from over 175 countries, holding approximately $2 billion in stored bullion.

Why Gold?

People  decide to put their hard-earned money into physical gold for many reasons. In the main it’s to diversify away from other investment markets, to hedge against inflation or as a ‘crisis insurance’ against possible financial instability.  With Brexist and a Trump presidency – there could be some instability in the way in the next couple of years.

Central banks around the world hold about 12% of their reserves in gold. The US has the biggest hoard of gold, followed by Germany and the International Monetary Fund. If jewellery is included, India has the largest amount of gold within its national boundaries.

The amount of gold left underground could soon run out. At the end of 2005 the big gold producers calculated their reserves at 22,000 tonnes – or 14 years’ production. In reality, it is likely to be more, as new reserves are discovered.

You can buy gold online  in Ireland from UK based  Bullion Vault . You don’t actually get to hold the gold – but you do own physical gold , not just shares in gold .They welcome small investors and you can try the system with a small deposit and purchase before making a larger purchase. They do charge a small commission on purchases and sales and they also charge a monthly storage charge. It is probably best to avoid investments below €1,000 because the storage charge ) may make investment inefficient below this level.

( BullionVault is recommended and endorsed by the World Gold Council for retail gold bullion.)

Gold can also be bought in the form of   “exchange traded funds” (ETFs). Gold ETFs invest in physical gold, and shares in the funds can be bought and sold just like any other share.  A stockbroker can buy on your behalf.
buy gold ireland

 

Best SIM Only Plan Ireland

There are so many different plans and deals around  for mobile phones it can get very confusing and as a result , many people tend to  stay with their existing network because they just can’t be bothered to change.

If you use a Pay as You Go mobile phone “plan”  – it can be very easy to get through €40 or more a month in top ups . On some of the lower priced billpay mobile phone contracts – the inclusive  “free” minutes are only 100 or 200 – which can be easily exceeded and you can end up with a bigger bill than you expected at the end of every month.

Going over your inclusive minutes on a billpay plan will typically cost you at least €7.50 for every extra 30 minutes of calls you make. (based on typical charge of 25c per min).
Tip:  There are some very good prepay bundles available with unlimited calls and texts that could work out better value than going for billpay   See Our  Comparison of Prepaid Mobile Phone Charges

One way to prevent unexpected large bills for mobile charges is to try and get a package that offers unlimited calls, data and texts . Then you will never be worried about  going over any limits. These days you don’t have to sign up for really long contracts to get unlimited calls/texts .

Best SIM only Plan Ireland

It’s easier to compare SIM only plans  rather than mobile plans  that include the purchase of a phone . When a phone is included in the deal –  the monthly charge will vary depending on the up-front amount paid for the phone , the length of the contract and the type of phone.

Most mobile networks in Ireland now offer billpay SIM only 30 day plans. You put the new SIM in your existing unlocked mobile phone and you can usually keep your old number to make the change easier.  You will usually  have to set up payments by direct debit.

We have done a comparison of some of the  SIM – only billpay 30 day contracts with  high quotas of  calls and data.

SIM Only BillPay Deals Compared

Network Charge per Month Call Minutes Texts Data
Virgin (2) €25 Unlimited Unlimited 30Gb
Tesco €25 Unlimited Unlimited 30Gb
Meteor (3) €25 Unlimited Unlimited 15Gb
Id Mobile
€29 5000 5000 20GB
Three €29.59 Unlimited Unlimited 15GB
Vodafone €30 Unlimited Unlimited 3Gb

 


Virgin  (2)    This offer is only available to Virgin media TV or broadband customers – but it might be even worth switching your home phone and broadband to them to get this SIM only offer. During January 2017 they have a special offer of just €5 a month for the first 5 months. You can see details and prices for Virgin’s TV and broadband bundles over on Switcher.ie


Meteor  (3)   Price increases to €30 after 6 months


Alternative
There is also the option of using  48 Months :    – it’s prepaid and you don’t have any contract . You get their SIM and pay a monthly “membership” fee that pays for a specific package of calls ,texts and data for a month. It’s impossible to get hit with a large bill because it’s prepaid and you can’t use more than you’ve paid for without buying  extra services.  With other companies on SIM only billpay contracts – even 30 day ones, – you will get hit with higher charges if you exceed the included calls, texts or data limits.   get a FREE 48 SIM here to try it out .

 

More top Money Saving Tips for 2017 Here.

Figures updated January 2017