This article was written in 2012 and may contain out of date information. Browse more recent articles.
Airtricity has just introduced a new deal that offers customers a discount of 23% off their standard gas unit rates – making it Ireland’s biggest gas discount.
On the face of it, 23% off your gas unit rates looks terrific. It would mean that instead of paying Bord Gais around €961 per year for your gas, you could pick up a year’s supply for just €784. That’s a huge saving of €177, and even cheaper than Flogas, which is usually the cheapest gas supplier.
Now before we all get carried away and charge out to sign up to this deal, we thought we’d better take a closer look, which is what we try to do here at bonkers.ie. And we’ve noticed that there are a few things worth a mention…
The first is that you’ve got to take electricity with Airtricity to get this gas deal. And there’s no discount off the electricity. So a year’s worth is going to cost you €1,188. Which is just about the most expensive electricity out here. And funnily enough, Airtricity themselves will sell the same amount to you on another tariff for €1,049 – which is just about the cheapest!
Next, this deal is only available by contract, so you have to sign up for either a year or two years. That’s not much of an issue really, because contracts are becoming pretty commonplace, but worth knowing all the same that if you quit before your time is up, you could be liable for a cancellation fee of up to €100.
You also need to pay by direct debit to get the 23% off gas deal. If you don’t, the discount goes down to 13% and you’ll have to pay an (ouch!) €300 deposit.
So of course, the question we need to ask is: with a huge gas discount and no electricity discount, is this deal worth signing up to? Which means it’s time for the sums – and I’m not so great at those, so I’ll try to keep ‘em simple.
If you’re an average household with gas and electricity, here’s how Airtricity’s new deal pans out:
€1,886 - cheapest you can get - Airtricity & Flogas
€1,948 - cheapest dual fuel - Electric Ireland
€1,972 - Airtricity’s 23% gas discount deal
So if you’re an average energy user, you can do better than the 23% gas deal.
But not everyone is average of course. Some people live in big draughty old houses and for them, this deal could work out very well indeed. Basically, the more gas you use, the more this deal starts to make sense.
Weirdly enough, to make Airtricity’s 23% gas discount deal the cheapest dual fuel tariff in the market, you’d need to use 23% more gas than the national average. So instead of 13,800 units, you’d need to be using 17,000. I wonder if they designed it that way?
To make Airtricity’s 23% gas deal the cheapest overall, you’d need to be using 31,000 kWh of gas per year and have average electricity consumption. That’s a lot of gas. But you might be surprised. That kind of consumption isn’t at all uncommon.
So here’s an easy way to know if this deal is for you. If you’re spending more than two grand a year on your gas, and your electricity use is pretty normal, you’ll probably benefit from Airtricity’s 23% gas discount tariff. If you’re not sure, take a meter reading, call your supplier and ask them how much you’ve used over the last year. They’ll tell you in kilowatt hours (kWh). Then just plug the usage into our gas and electricity comparison service and we’ll do all the sums for you. Easy peasy.
*Some assumptions were made for this blog. I’ve used national average electricity consumption of 5,300 kWh throughout. Higher or lower electricity consumption will lead to different results. In the calculations for cheapest gas, electricity and dual fuel, there are qualifying criteria which may exclude some households.