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Ireland has a new electricity supplier!
Just Energy, which already has a presence in the US, Canada, Germany and the UK, has arrived in Ireland and is on a mission to shake-up the market in time for the busy winter switching season.
The supplier is offering fixed and variable price plans, as well as an "unlimited" electricity” deal, which is the first of its kind in Ireland.
Let’s begin by looking at Just Energy’s standard fixed and variable price plans, which are available for sign up now.
The supplier is offering a standard fixed rate of 13.11 cent (ex VAT) per kWh of electricity under its Rate Saver deal. Significantly, this rate is fixed for 12 months, meaning that the price you pay won’t change if the supplier decides to increase prices over the next year.
If you switch to this deal and use an average amount of electricity (4,200 kWh), you’ll pay about €857 in your first year, which is €120 less than what you'd pay on a benchmark standard rate.
Just Energy's standard variable rate is 14.22 cent (ex VAT), which will amount to a first-year bill of about €912 if you use the national average amount of electricity, which is €58 cheaper than benchmark standard rates.
Just Energy is also offering an innovative “unlimited" electricity price plan. Here’s how it works.
The supplier will place you in a particular consumption band, based on how much electricity you used in the previous 12 months. Then, you’ll be charged a set monthly rate over the course of a year, regardless of how much electricity you consume, so long as you stay within your band.
So, say you use 4,200 kWh of electricity (that’s the national average) in a year. You’ll be placed in Just Energy’s 4,000 kWh - 4,400 kWh consumption band and be charged €66.43 (ex VAT) every month.
In other words, it'll cost you €2.18 a day (ex VAT) for any amount of electricity used, so long as you stay under 4,4000 kWh over the course of a year.
At this rate, you’ll end up paying €998 over in your first 12 months of "unlimited" electricity, once all taxes and charges are factored in. That’s about €28 more expensive than benchmark standard rates.
However, if you use 4,400 kWh for example, you'll be charged the same amount since you'll still be within your consumption band. And at this consumption rate, you'd save about €7 against standard rates.
If Just Energy thinks that your consumption is likely to go above or below your assigned consumption band, they’ll contact you and offer you the choice of moving into a new band (which will come with a different rate), or rolling onto its standard variable rate.
It's certainly an innovative way of charging for electricity and one which is likely to appeal to you if you enjoy flexibility in how you pay for energy.
It’s important to note that this deal is only available if you sign up for direct debit and online billing. It's normal for suppliers to make these stipulations in the Irish market.
For those of you concerned that offering households "unlimited" electricity will ultimately be bad for the environment, Just Energy will likely point to its strict consumption bands as a sufficient protector against excessive electricity usage.
Just Energy's arrival brings the number of electricity suppliers in the domestic Irish market to nine, meaning that consumers now have more choice than ever before over who powers their home. The supplier is also planning to offer gas in the Irish market in the near future.
We spoke to Just Energy's Country Manager, Mike Cody, who highlighted the appeal of the supplier's unlimited price plan: "We are the only energy company in Ireland to offer an unlimited tariff, this will give customers peace of mind and will remove any bill shock. This price plan is perfect for customers who are on a rigid budget and need to know their exact monthly payments".
The fresh and innovative competition provided by Just Energy is certainly good news for customers, who can preemptively protect themselves against potential future price hikes by switching to a fixed 12-month or discounted price plan now.
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