All the electricity providers in Ireland have higher standing charges for rural households compared to urban ones.
ESB Networks assigns the Urban or rural charge rate based on the location of a property.
Rural electricity charges are higher because the electricity suppliers 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 €66.55 a year standing charge for urban households and €97.06 a year for rural households. (Exclusive of VAT) .
That is a difference of €30.51.
The electricity suppliers each can have their own standing charge. They do not all have to charge the same amount
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.
Urban customers will be shown as DG1 while DG2 means you are a rural customer.
How much more are Electricity charges for Rural households?
We did a comparison in July 2020 of the annual electricity charges for average usage (4200 kwh).
On average – a rural household will be charged €43 more a year compared to a household in an urban area. (For the same electricity usage).
The differences range from €29 to €53 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.
For rural households looking for the best electricity deal – they will find the lowest price is currently from a brand new company called Bright. Their tariff works out at €779 in year one
The second best deal is direct from Energia at €789 in year one (€25 cashback included)
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||€827||€214||13.67||€46|
|Panda Power (€100 cashback)||€839||€215||16.33||€39|
|SSE Airticity (200 cashback)||€846||€227||18.59||€46|
These prices are for new customers - so existing customers will probably be paying more.
Figures checked July 1st 2020