Families save €150 in home energy thanks to price war

Hundreds of thousands of households will save another €67 a year, on average, thanks to the latest salvo in the on-going energy price war. By Christian McCashin

The cut comes as Bord Gáis announced it is slashing gas and electricity prices for the third time in 20 months.

However, the Government will take some of the gloss off the savings with the latest Public Service Obligation charge increase, which goes up from from €5.01 to €6.02 per month before VAT on the same day - adding around €14 to all electricity bills.

The Bord Gais cuts - 5% off electricity rates and 2.5% off gas - will start on October 1, which would mean an average saving of €67 a year on dual fuel bills.

The price cuts are on the back of plummeting wholesale energy prices electricity is down 27% over the past 12 months and gas has dropped by more than a third at 35%.

The wholesale gas prices have dropped due to an increased supply from Norway and Russia and ???uted gas supplies from the US.

Gas is also used to firepower stations, so lower gas prices mean lower electricity prices.

Simon Moynihan, of switching company bonkers.ie, said: "It's good news as it's price cutting in time for winter. The usual run of things is for price cuts to be announced just after Christmas and to take place in March or April in the spring.

The energy suppliers are also eager to snatch customers from rivals as Ireland has some of the highest customers switching rates in Europe.

The country has the highest rate for gas switching - 16% and second highest for electricity - 13.5% - according to the Commission for Energy Regulation, Ireland's independent energy regulator.

A total of 106,682 customers switched gas supplier in 2015 and 303,187 customers switched electricity, the second highest in Europe after Portugal.

Bord Gáis Energy boss Dave Kirwan said: "Winter is a time when many people face increases in the cost of living and we're focused on helping our customers keep costs down as much as possible. "For most of the past five years our customers have paid the lowest standard electricity and dual fuel unit rates in Ireland and today's announcement means they will continue to do so this winter."

Bord Gáis Energy's three price cuts over the past 20 months means typical electricity and gas customers will save €156 since February 2015.

Simon Moynihan added: "In general, all Customers - new and current - will see a price gutting starting on October 1, €67 dual-fuel price cut off their standard rates.

“But if you're interested in saving money you'll save nearly €300 more than that by changing to the cheapest suppliers in the market.

"It's something customers should be aware of, 25% discounts are available from SSE Airtricity and 26% available from Energia offering savings of nearly €200 just on electricity or €360 on gas and electricity.

"The savings are enormous compared to the savings you can make just by sitting there and waiting for price cuts to come to you. Active customers will always do well.”

Senior Energy Analyst at Vayu Gillian Lawler said there may be a further reduction to Winter prices as Sterling continues to fall against the euro.

She said: "Updated storage figures show European Stocks are extremely healthy.

"In addition, the recent update from Centrica that its Rough storage facility, which houses 70% of the UK's storage capacity, will have 20 wells available for withdrawals from 1 November is also good news.

"This accounts for two thirds of wells at the facility, a significant improvement to earlier expectations of just four wells being available to year end."



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