Image Is switching energy supplier worthwhile if prices are increasing?
Image Daragh Cassidy
Head Writer

Having experienced a spate of recent gas and electricity price increases, we’re fully in the midst of an energy crisis. However despite suppliers raising prices, there still is value to be had by switching.

The past year has been unprecedented for the energy industry.

Prices have risen rapidly with the Government implementing an energy credit for households. 

Unfortunately however, some suppliers raised prices fives times in 2021 with six suppliers doing so thus far in 2022, meaning some households are looking at paying well over €1,000 extra for their energy over the coming year.

Electricity increase vs October 2020

Gas increase vs October 2020

Estimated increase in yearly bill*

Bord Gáis Energy

+72%

+82%

+€1,313

Electric Ireland

+47%

+46%

+€825

Energia

+72%

+68%

+€1,231

Flogas

+71%

+55%

+€1,316

SSE Airtricity

+67%

+77%

+€1,157

*inclusive of VAT and based on supplier's 24-hour urban rate and a household using an average amount of gas and electricity as defined by the CRU. Increase also factors in changes to daily standing charge.

Due to all the price increases, a question we’re constantly asked here at bonkers.ie is whether anyone should bother switching supplier.

What’s the point if everyone is raising prices, right?

Well, it absolutely pays to switch and you need to do it now.

Here’s why...

The way the energy industry works 

There are 13 energy suppliers in the Irish market right now and most are still competing aggressively for new business.

In order to attract new customers they offer big discounts, of up to 40% or more, to new customers to entice them to switch. However these discounts usually only last a year, at which stage you’ll be bumped onto your supplier’s much higher standard rates unless you switch again. 

So even though prices are going up, you can still save up to 40% or more on the cost of your electricity and gas by moving supplier.

For example, if you’ve been with SSE Airtricity for the past few years you’re likely to be paying its standard rate of 30.48 cent including VAT for electricity.

But if you switch to Electric Ireland, you could get a rate of just 17.74 cent

On the flip side, if you’ve been with Electric Ireland for the past few years, you’re likely to be paying its standard rate of 25.80 cent for electricity.

But if you switch to Energia, you could get a rate of just 18.82 cent.

In short, it pays to switch, even in a period of rising prices as you still get a great discount for doing so.

When should I switch?

A lot of people leave switching until the winter months, usually just after they’ve got ‘bill shock’ from looking at their most recent bill.

That's somewhat understandable as energy costs are usually the last thing on our minds during the warmer and brighter months. 

But it’s important to switch to a cheaper deal BEFORE we go into the summer months and overpay for energy we would otherwise be saving on.

And with energy suppliers increasing prices even more this year, if you don’t switch now, your next bill is likely to be anywhere from 20% to 80% higher than this time last year. And that would put a big dent in anyone’s pocket... 

My energy supplier announced an increase - should I switch again?

It goes without saying that the recent price increases from the likes of Bord Gáis Energy, Electric Ireland, and SSE Airtricity is unwelcome news for all energy customers. However, energy customers should be aware that it is only possible to switch supplier once every 20 days at most. This is a rule implemented by ESB Networks.

If you switched recently to a new supplier and said supplier also increased its prices for another time, you must wait 20 working days before you can switch again. This rule is in place to prevent loss of supply to customers when switching suppliers multiple times, and within a short period of time.

It should be said however that the likes of Electric Ireland, for example, still has some of the lowest gas and electricity rates on the market. Plus, by switching supplier you have availed of a percentage discount and this discount will still hold for the duration of your contract.

All suppliers are required to publicly give 30 days’ notice of any upcoming price increase or decrease. In cases where we have been notified of an upcoming price change, we will highlight this on our comparison results and the change will have been factored into the calculations you see when you conduct a comparison.

If you haven't already switched supplier and would like to save on your energy bills, the good news is that it’s quick and easy to do so and it can all be done online in the space of a few minutes right here on bonkers.ie.

How to switch energy supplier

To make the switch, simply head over to our energy comparison page to review the best deals from Ireland’s 14 energy suppliers.

You’ll only need a few things on hand to switch:

  • A GPRN number if switching gas and an MPRN number if switching electricity
  • A recent meter reading
  • A good estimate of how much energy you use
  • Some personal details, such as your address and bank account information

Read our helpful guide on what you need to switch suppliers for further information.

Reduce your energy consumption

After switching supplier, the second easiest way to lower your energy bills is to try to reduce your usage. This needn’t be a huge effort or hassle, as there are lots of small everyday changes you can make around the home that will make a decent impact without leaving you sitting in a freezing cold room with the lights off.

Here are 15 of our favourite tips to help you lower your electricity consumption - some might surprise you!

You can discover more energy saving tips with our blogs and guides.

Get in touch

Will you be switching energy suppliers to save this winter? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

Don’t forget that if you have any switching questions you can contact us. We’re on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.