There is a new competitor in the household energy market in Ireland – a Canadian company called Just Energy. A subsidiary of their parent company has been operating in the UK for about 4 years as Green Star Energy .
Just Energy Ireland have an electricity tariff called Unlimited. Now we all know how the word “unlimited” has been abused in the past by some broadband and phone companies. Unlimited offers sometimes came with terms and conditions or fair usage policies that resulted in caps.
The JustEnergy.ie website says that you can ” Fix your bill for 12 months, no matter how much you use.”
Sounds too good to be true doesn’t it ?
How does the Unlimited Tariff work?
Before you can sign up to the Just Energy Unlimited electricity tariff – you have to tell them your current annual usage and possibly provide your old bills to back this up. Then – based on your previous annual usage – they will give you a set price for the year. Customers will not be accepted on the unlimited tariff if their current annual electricity usage is above 10400 kwh. You will also have to provide monthly meter readings.
Just Energy set the prices within various usage bands – their website shows the prices without VAT (which makes them look cheaper) – but we have added in the VAT for you.
Sample Pricing :
4001 kwH to 4400 Kwh = €998 a year
4401 kwH to 4800 Kwh = €1059 a year
4801 kwH to 5200 kwH = €1121 a year
6801 kwH to 7200 kwH = €1427 a year
So – if you are an average usage household using 4200 kwh of electricity a year you would be charged €998 a year (€879 plus VAT).
This is currently €225 more expensive than switching to Energia ( €773) . See Prices Here
With the Just Energy unlimited tariff – you would have some scope to use more than 4200 Kwh in a year and still pay the same. But it is not clear from Just Energy exactly how much more you could increase usage before they ask you to reduce it or move you over to their standard variable tariff.
We have to assume you could increase usage to the upper band limit of 4400kwh with no problem. But using 4400 kwh in a year with Energia would only cost €819 – which is still €179 cheaper than the €998 with Just Energy unlimited.
Even if you increased usage by about 38% to 5800kwh – you would still be slightly better off with Energia’s cheapest deal paying €996 – compared to the €998 on the the Just Energy unlimited plan .
It is not currently clear that Just Energy would even tolerate a 38% increase in usage.
Overall – we feel that the unlimited plan is not a good idea:
- It will cost more than the cheaper deals available , even if you do increase usage substantially (over 35%)
- Also – is it really such a good thing to be encouraging consumers to use more electricity at a time when we are generally being urged to cut our energy use ?
- One final disadvantage is that if you reduce your usage , you will not benefit from lower bills on the unlimited plan.
If you want to check prices from other Electricity providers you can see our latest information on Best deals on Electricity here.
Note: The terms and conditions on Just Energy’s Irish website are very sparse – so we can only assume that cusomers will get them in writing when they sign up.
In the UK – their “sister” company Green Star Energy has a similar unlimited plan. According to MoneySavingExpert.com in 2015 – if a customer’s usage creeps above its limits, Green Star will contact them and ask them to amend their usage. If that doesn’t happen they will consider moving you onto the standard variable tariff.