This article was written in 2014 and may contain out of date information. Browse more recent articles.
Bord Gáis has just announced a new electricity deal which will reward customers with cash for loyalty.
Customers that sign up to Bord Gáis’s best electricity deal, which offers 10% off the company’s standard unit rates, are eligible for €40 cashback after 12 months.
The €40 loyalty payout is available to customers who pay by direct debit, receive paperless bills and opt for level pay. The cashback is paid as a credit on customer bills after 12 months.
This cashback deal is interesting because it is essentially the opposite of normal electricity discount tariffs. With most of the introductory cut-price deals out there, customers are required to remain with their company for at least 12 months. If they leave early, they are subject to a penalty. These breakage penalties can be as much as €50 per fuel.
Instead of requiring a 12 month contract and enforcing it with a breakage penalty, the new Bord Gáis offer does not have any time contract, there is no breakage penalty and if a customer stays for 12 months, they are rewarded with cash.
Bord Gáis's break from the norm adds yet more spice to what has been a very interesting couple of weeks in the Irish energy market. Energia launched for residential customers less than two weeks ago, Bord Gáis announced a standard rate electricity price increase at the start of the month, Electric Ireland introduced a new electricity deal last week that was essentially the cheapest in the marketplace, and now Bord Gáis has popped its oar into the water with this cashback loyalty deal!*
So of course the big question is how does this deal stack up against the rest of the offers out there?
Well, if you take into account Bord Gáis’s price increase of around €25, which is set for March 1st, an average customer could expect to pay €1,093 per year for electricity. It’s a pretty solid discount rate, but Electric Ireland would still come in cheapest at €1,058 per year.
However, if you factor in the €40 cashback, Bord Gáis just squeaks in as the cheapest provider with an annual cost of €1,053, beating Electric Ireland by a fiver.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen incentives like this in the energy market though. Last year, Electric Ireland offered a signup bonus of €30 to new customers. It proved very very popular because it was paid out on the first bill. And before that, they dished out iTunes vouchers to new customers.
It is Bord Gáis that is the leader with the rewards and incentive programs though. Their deal with Tesco allows customers to use their Clubcard vouchers for double value against their bills. They also have the whole Bord Gáis Energy Theatre deal for early and discounted tickets.
Cash is king
The thing is though that this Bord Gáis 10% discount tariff will not hit the top of accredited energy comparison tables like bonkers.ie for most searches. The reason is that the Commission for Energy Regulation does not permit the inclusion of one time cashback offers or signup incentives as part of the overall calculation of annual energy costs. Still though, this deal is sure to be popular because when it comes to rewards, it really is cash that’s king.
*I really do find this stuff interesting - so much so that yesterday I was called the energy trainspotter by a well known journalist! I'm not sure whether I'm flattered or insulted by that, but sure there you are.