Switching Energy Provider to Save Money .
In the past year we have seen a rise in gas and electricity prices which led to increases in the price of residential energy supplies here in Ireland. A cut to the PSO levy has helped with energy bills – but the trend seems to be upwards .
Considerable energy bill reductions are possible for those consumers that are prepared to switch energy supplier on a regular basis.
See our latest dual fuel price comparison here
According to CER (Commission for Energy Regulation) figures – the rates of customer switching energy provider in the Irish domestic electricity market are around 12-16% a year. However, it seems that the majority of people are just not interested in shopping around for their electricity and gas supplies.
In 2016 the CER carried out a survey of over 1,000 Irish households and found that 54% of those surveyed had never switched their energy supplier.
If more than half of people have never switched , it must mean that the people who are switching suppliers are probably doing it repeatedly every year or so in order to get the best deals.
Energy suppliers can only really compete on price because , at the end of the day they are all supplying exactly the same products. So – to attract customers , the suppliers offer new customers cashback or reduced prices usually just for 12 months. Once the cut price offer expires , you are usually free to switch again.
To get these reduced prices , customers normally have to agree to pay by direct debit and accept e-billing . A deposit is sometimes required for new customers , which can be difficult for some people on low incomes. Also it is sometimes not possible to switch if you are in arrears with your current supplier.
Figures from the UK show that it is usually the more vulnerable customers and those at risk of poverty that are not switching. Elderly people and those on low incomes are the people who have the greatest trouble in meeting their energy costs – but they are missing out on the opportunity to make savings of up to 20% on their annual energy bills.
In our recent energy price comparison – we found that an typical dual fuel medium usage household that has never switched energy provider could cut their fuel bills by as much as €340 over 12 months by switching to the cheapest deals on offer. (figures from October 2018)
So – if you are one of the 56% who have never switched fuel supplier , what is stopping you? Switching Energy supplier is as easy as filling in a simple online form and it only takes a few minutes. There will be no changes to your wiring or gas pipes. The only thing that changes is the company name on the bill and the price.
See Our Electricity and Gas Price Comparison here
Once you have done it once you can switch every year if you want.The savings might not be as big the next time you switch. People should try and treat energy providers like insurance – don’t just renew every year , move to the lowest priced provider.