Here at MoneyguideIreland.com we are always telling people to shop around and switch suppliers to reduce bills – but how many people have actually switched their Electricity provider? The energy companies appear to have spent hundreds of thousands of Euros on advertising and sales people trying to persuade us all to switch – but does anyone take any notice ?
The CER (Comission for Regulation of Utilities ) recently released some research on the switching of electricity suppliers in Ireland.
Electric Ireland have the most customers (56%) followed by Bord Gais Energy (16%),
SSE Airtricty (14%) and Energia with 6%
About 58% of people use the same supplier for both electricity and gas. Of those – 72% think they get the best deal by getting both fuels from the same supplier – but our comparison shows that this is NOT true.
In the 2018 survey – 64% of households said they had switched electricity provider at least once – so 36% have never switched.
Of those that had switched – 17% had done so within the last 12 months.
But – 56% of people said that they were unlikely to switch suppplier in the next 12 months.
On average – just under 12% of people switch electricity supplier in Ireland every year. (UK figures are almost 15% a year)
One third of people said they were not aware of any special offers or price reductions available for switching electricity providers.
The main reason for switching electricity provider was a desire to save money on the total bill – with 84% of people giving that as a reason.
But – 49% of those that didn’t switch said that they thought there were not worthwhile savings to be made.
See out latest Electricity Price Comparison here to see how much you could save .
Of those that had switched electricity supplier – over 90% felt that the changeover went smoothly .
Of the switchers – almost half (48%) of electricity customers said they are most likely to continue with the current supplier when their energy supplier contract ends, irrespective of what tariff is being charged !
We say that energy should be treated like insurance … householders should compare prices and switch to the cheapest every year.
The survey discovered that largest effect on switching was being approached by a supplier
face to face . The worrying thing about this – is that consumers will be getting biased information from sales people on commission. They may feel pressured into signing up without knowing the offers available from other suppliers. You can see our Electricity Price Comparison to see which supplier is the cheapest.
The survey also found that most people did not realise that electricity prices are now fully
unregulated with suppliers being allowed to set their own prices
Three quarters of people did not know this was the case – and assumed that some sort of state price regulation was in force.