Consumers could be paying about €180 million more than necessary on their gas and electricity bills each year, according to a new analysis of the energy market.
Figures from comparison website Bonkers.ie, the first energy price comparison service to receive accreditation from the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER), reveal that Irish consumers who fail to switch to a cheaper energy product or provider are wasting millions of euro each year.
Simon Moynihan, energy expert with Bonkers.ie, said only two in every five households had switched for a better deal.
"Households with gas and electricity that have never switched can reduce annual bills by as much as €254, or more than €20 per month, by switching to the cheapest deals," he said.
According to Moynihan, more than 60 per cent of gas customers have never switched from Bord Gáis.
"They are giving up savings of around €124 per year, or a tenner a month," he said. "That 60 per cent of gas customers is around 377,100 households - which means that at least €47 million a year is being unnecessarily spent on gas."
He said the market for electricity operated differently, making it harder to estimate just how much money was being wasted by consumers.
"Unlike Bord Gáis for gas, Electric Ireland is a fully deregulated energy company and can set its own prices for gas and electricity," Moynihan said. "This means that some customers who have never switched away from Electric Ireland have actually been able to get better electricity prices from them.
"Average Electric Ireland standard rate customers are paying €130 per year more than they would on the cheapest rate available. Even by switching to a cheaper rate with Electric Ireland, customers could save."