Managing household bills is never a fun task and when it’s not price, the first thing we look for when choosing suppliers is probably ease of manageability. Paying one bill over managing multiple different ones is preferable for many of us, but do dual fuel deals offer better value over separate gas and electricity bills in the long term? bonkers.ie investigates…
So you’ve been thinking of switching gas and electricity suppliers to get a better deal, but where should you start? Not only are there now ten different suppliers on the Irish market to choose from, there also seem to be countless different plan types to decipher, and it can be very confusing trying to figure you out which one will cater best to your individual needs as a customer (of course, we make it super easy with our price comparison calculator, so be sure to check it out while we have you here!)
For the average energy consumer, dual fuel is the way to go.
Up until very recently, if saving money was your ultimate prerogative in choosing an energy supplier; opting to switch your energy supply to separate suppliers for gas and electricity was the way to do it (rather than bundling both from the same supplier in a dual fuel plan).
However, as we've seen lots of activity in the energy sector over the last number of months, with many of Ireland's suppliers changing prices and rates and new players entering the market - the opposite is now the case.
It's now the case that a customer on typical standard rates, using an average annual amount of energy per year stands to save more by bundling their gas and electricity with a single supplier rather than going for separate suppliers.
What does that mean?
For example, let’s say you get your electricity from Electric Ireland and your gas from Bord Gáis; you’re on standard rates for both (meaning that you're out of contract and don't have any special introductory discounts in play), and you consume an average amount of both during the course of a year.
On the other hand, if you decided to go for separate suppliers instead; switching to Bord Gais Energy's 27% Discount (Paperless, Direct Debit & Level Pay) plan for your electricity and Flogas' 22% Direct Debit Discount plan for your gas (both of which currently represent the cheapest deals in their respective categories) you'd make a combined average saving of €340.79 (that's €187.92 for electricity and €152.87 for gas) in your first year.
One bill means less hassle
You'll notice that there's less than €2 in the difference between the two options, so if your main concern when choosing suppliers is savings, you needn't worry too much as you'll get value with both.
However, dealing with one supplier (as opposed to two) for your energy needs significantly reduces bill related hassle, which is certainly something we can all get behind! With one supplier, you'll pay for your gas and electricity in one go and you'll be able to submit your meter readings for both in the same place.
What about cashback offers?
As touched on, the Irish energy market is very competitive, and many energy suppliers are offering substantial sums of account credit to customers to entice them to switch. In fact, right now, customers who switch strategically could pocket up to €350 - and that’s not including the savings that you can make from discounted rates. So, could you save even more by opting for a cashback offer over the cheapest discounted rates?
The short answer is yes; if you were to switch your gas to Electric Ireland and your electricity to Bord Gáis right now, you’d get €350 cashback (€175 from each) With the discounts associated with those price plans factored in, making this move could save a household on standard rates with average consumption €485 in year one.
And if you decided to go with a dual fuel offer, you could get €200 cashback with SSE Airtricity’s 1 Year Dual Fuel (Direct Debit & eBill) 10% Even Allocation deal and make a total saving of €331.55 once the discount of that price plan has been factored in (€200 + €131.55).
However, whether cashback offers will actually offer you long-term value as a customer will ultimately come down to your household’s size and particular consumption patterns. To learn more, check out our article on how to know when cashback offers are good value.