All the electricity providers in Ireland have higher standing charges for rural households compared to urban ones.
Urban or rural charging is determined by the location of your property and is assigned by ESB Networks.
Rural electricity charges are higher because the electricity suppliers are allowed to charge a higher standing charge. The logic behind this is that it costs ESB networks more to supply electricity to properties further away from the network.
ESB Networks charges your Electricity Supplier for use of the Electricity Distribution System. ESB Networks charge the electricity suppliers €74.37 a year standing charge for urban households and €108.48 a year for rural households. (Inclusive of VAT) .
That is a difference of €30.11. The electricity suppliers all have their own standing charges.
There is no such distinction for gas standing charges – because all the gas networks are in urban areas
Urban or Rural Electricity?
You can check if you are on a rural or urban residential standing charge by looking at the top right-hand corner of your electricity bill. You will see either DG1 or DG2 just underneath the MPRN.
DG1 indicates you are classed as an urban customer.
DG2 means you are classed as a rural customer.
How much extra are Rural households charged for Electricity ?
We did a comparison in January 2020 of the annual electricity charges for average usage (4200 kwh).
On average – in our survey- a rural household will be charged €43.37 more a year for the same amount of electricity compared to a household in an urban area.
The differences ranged from €34 to €51 a year. You can see the figures in the table below. (Prices include VAT)
Each electricity supplier will charge the same unit rates (kwh) for rural and urban homes – it is just the standing charge that is higher for rural homes.
In our main comparison of electricity charges – we use the urban rates.
Rural Electricity Prices Compared
|Cost in Year One|
for 4200 KwH
|Unit Rate |
(Cent per KwH)
|Extra Annual Cost Compared
to Urban Tariff
|Bord Gais Energy||€899||€215||15.37||€45|
These prices are for new customers - so existing customers will probably be paying more.
For rural households looking to switch to the best electricity deal – then the cheapest deal is to switch to Energia ( €859 for average usage in year one). The Energia deal is only available on the Energia website with promo code CHEAPESTFUEL.
Figures checked February 2020