Gas & Electricity

How do I compare gas and electricity prices?

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Image
Image Rob Flynn
Staff Writer

Comparing energy suppliers has never been easier. To compare gas and electricity prices on bonkers.ie and discover the best deals on the market, just follow these simple steps.

This guide outlines how to compare gas and electricity prices using our energy comparison service. This is the second guide in our eight-part energy switching series, which we’ve created to help you make the most out of our energy services. 

You can find the rest of the guides in this series linked at the end of this article.

Grab a bill and fill in our form

Step 1 - Tell us who your supplier is and what supply region you are in

Grab a recent energy bill and head to our energy price comparison calculator and complete the form.    

To begin, we’ll need to know your current energy supplier. If you’re comparing electricity, we'll also need to know whether your supply region is urban or rural. 

To discover what region you are in, look at the top right-hand corner of your electricity bill. Underneath the MPRN, it will say either DG1 or DG2. If it says DG1 it means you are in an urban supply region whereas if it says DG2 you are in a rural supply region.

Although it is not a deal-breaker if you input this information wrong, it's important to note that the rural standing charges are more expensive than urban ones and may affect the price you see on the screen.

Step 2 - Type of electricity meter

In this step, you will need to let us know whether you have a standard meter or a smart meter for electricity. The type of meter you have will influence the rates and charges you will receive with your electricity quote, as they are privy to different tariffs. 

Smart meters started being rolled out across Ireland in late 2019, so if you have had a meter installed since then it will be a smart meter, and not a standard one. With smart meters, you will not have to provide meter readings to your energy supplier, however, with a standard meter you will. 

If you have a standard meter, you will need to inform us if you have a 24-hour meter or a NightSaver meter

A 24-hour meter will have one row of digits that measure your electricity usage. In comparison, a NightSaver meter will display two rows of digits on your meter. This is because NightSaver meters record the electricity that has been used during the day and night separately, with the electricity used at night being charged at a discounted rate. 

We will also need to know how much of your electricity is used during NightSaver hours. 

Step 3 - How you pay

Certain energy deals are only available to those who pay by direct debit. By letting us know how you pay your current supplier so that we can accurately calculate your savings. 

Step 4 - Tell us the name of your current electricity tariff

Select the name of your current electricity tariff from the list. If you’re unsure of the name of your energy package, or can’t find it on the list don’t worry. Sometimes suppliers change the names of their plans. 

If this is the case you can either choose to input the discount percentage that your plan is on or you can provide us with the unit rate you are charged by your supplier. 

On the other hand, if you are out of contract (i.e. you are getting charged at the standard rate) you can simply select ‘standard plan’ from the drop-down menu. 

You should aim to switch electricity suppliers once your contract is completed as you will be able to avoid any cancellation fees.

Step 5 - Let us know how much electricity you use 

You can provide this answer in kWh or by letting us know how much money you spend monthly or annually on electricity. 

It is important to note that, if you are providing information regarding how much your monthly bill costs, you must provide the average monthly cost of your electricity bills spread over the year, not the cost of the bill you received the previous month. 

This will allow us to estimate your annual usage accurately, and provide you with the best value energy package for you. 

You can find this information regarding your energy usage on your energy bill, or alternatively, you can contact your energy supplier who will provide you with this information over the phone. 

For the best results, you should ideally let us know your annual consumption in kWh but don’t worry if you’re unsure. We can estimate this based on the national average energy consumption.

Step 6 - Fill in the information for your gas provider 

You will then need to provide similar information if you’re also comparing gas:

  • The name of your gas supplier
  • Whether you pay for gas using a direct debit, cash or pay-as-you-go method
  • The name of your current natural gas tariff 
  • How much gas you use in your household which can be calculated by the kWh, your yearly spend or the national average energy consumption

If you are unsure where to find this information read back on the points related to electricity as it will you an insight into how to discover this information. 

Step 7- Indicate if you want cashback offers included in your results 

Before comparing prices, you can decide whether you want to include cashback amounts in calculations. 

Some energy suppliers offer cashback incentives to new customers. If you select ‘yes’, this cashback amount will be included in your savings. This will occur only when the savings are automatically applied to your account. 

If you have to contact the supplier in order to claim your cashback, it will not be included in the calculations, even if you do select ‘yes’.

We recommend low energy users to include the cashback incentive in their results. They should also focus on energy packages that have a low standing charge, as they can use the cashback incentive to cover the standing charge cost. 

However, for customers who have a high energy usage, the cashback incentive won’t be beneficial for them. They need to focus on packages that have a lower unit rate, as that is how they will save money on their bills. 

You can discover whether you’re a high energy user in this guide.

Step 8 - Choose to only show tariffs available for sign up in your results

Selecting these options means that only the tariffs available for immediate sign up will be displayed in your results. 

Step 9 - Review your results

After completing the form you’ll be brought to the results page, where the complete list of deals will be available for you to examine in more depth.

Total price

Deals are displayed in order of total price, with the cheapest appearing first. The price you see on screen includes all of the additional fees and taxes that get tagged on to energy bills, so no need to waste time on any unnecessary calculations.

If you click on ‘See detail’ in blue, you’ll see the charges broken down to exclude and including VAT.

Your savings

You’ll be able to see how much money each deal will save you and if you’re concerned about the finer details, by selecting ‘see detail’, you'll be privy to the exact features of each price plan, down to the basic charges per kWh, including and excluding tax, the fuel mix and other plan features. 

If you’re 'keen for green' then the option to search for strictly green energy deals is available too!

Filters

You’ll be able to filter your results by:

  • Supplier
  • Plan type - Dual fuel, electricity or gas
  • Cashback offers
  • Payment type
  • Multi-year cost projection - up to three years
  • Green electricity
  • Paperless billing
  • Smart tariffs

How to compare

Step 10 - Select the right deal for you 

Once you have discovered the right plan for you with the best savings, simply click ‘proceed’ to begin the next step in the energy switching journey. 

To learn about the ins and outs of the switching process, you can read our helpful guide here. It will cover the information and documents you will need to provide in order to switch energy suppliers. 

If you’re a first-time buyer you can fill out this easy-to-use form and your house will be treated as a new connection.

Comparing energy suppliers has truly never been easier with bonkers.ie. We take the hard work out of finding you the best deals. Make the switch and save hundreds on your household energy bills today!

Check out our other energy guides

This guide is just one of many we have that will help you to make the switch with ease. Why not take a look at the other helpful guides in our switching series?

Remember that you can stay up to date with all of the latest energy news and top saving tips with our blogs and guides.

Here to help

If you need any help or have any questions about switching, we’d be happy to help. You can get in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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