ELECTRIC Ireland has turned up the heat in the energy price war with a new offer to give electricity customers €50 off their bill if they switch.
CHARLIE WESTON PERSONAL FINANCE EDITOR
The offer means that Electric Ireland (which is the retail operation of ESB) is now the best value for the supply of electricity only.
It comes just days after a price cut from Energia for those who take both gas and electricity from it.
That Energia move, in turn, was in response to a special electricity price from Bord Gais for the 50,000 people who signed up for the One Big Switch.
Now Electric Ireland is offering residential customers €50 off their bill if they switch to it.
The company claims the savings amount to €200 off its standard electricity prices.
The offer is only available to new customers who join Electric Ireland, a move that excludes its 1.2 million existing electricity clients.
Householders have to apply online for the deal, and the €50 credit will be applied to consumers' bills within two months.
The offer is open until the end of this month.
Last week, Bord Gais said it would offer the people who had signed up with One Big Switch a 10pc discount on the electricity supplies and €80 cash back if they stick with the semi-state for a year.
One Big Switch boss Oliver Tattan claimed a typical family would save €215 on electricity prices over a year. There is no discount on gas prices for homeowners.
New entrant Energia then reacted with what it says is a 17pc discount on its standard tariffs for households that take both electricity and gas from it. When it launched last month Energia had been offering a 15pc discount off standard rates for those who get both gas and electricity from it.
It says the average family will save €306 a year on their fuel bills from the new offer.
The new deal is open until April 17 for people who switch online – the same day the One Big Switch campaign will stop allowing people to sign up for its deal.
Energy expert Simon Moynihan of price comparison site Bonkers.ie welcomed the fact that the One Big Switch campaign had sparked an energy price war.
His website is accredited by the energy regulator, which does not allow Bonkers.ie to factor into its price calculations bill credits and sign-up bonuses.
But Mr Moynihan worked out that the €50 cash-back offer would mean Electric Ireland will be the cheapest supplier of electricity, with an average cost of €1,008 a year for a family.
This is marginally better than the One Big Switch/Bord Gais offer of €1,014 a year for electricity.