Gas & Electricity

What is the low user standing charge?

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Image Simon Moynihan
Staff Writer

As of May 1st 2022, the Low User Standing Charge no longer applies.

What was the Low User Standing Charge?

The Low User Standing Charge (LUSC) was an additional fee that some Electric Ireland customers had to pay when using an average of two units or less of electricity per day in a two-month billing cycle.

Electric Ireland announced earlier this year that the Low Usage Standing Charge will no longer apply from the 1st of May 2022.

What standing rate will I be charged now instead?

If you are an Electric Ireland customer with a LUSC rate, you'll be switched over to the normal standing charge rates.

Customers should no longer see LUSC on their bills. However, Electric Ireland has stated that even if it does appear, customers will be charged at their normal standing charge rates.

What energy suppliers charge a Low User Standing Charge?

Only Electric Ireland charged this fee.

Why did Electric Ireland charge a Low User Standing Charge?

Electric Ireland introduced the Low User Standing Charge in 2012 to “recover the costs associated with providing electricity to customers with very low usage.” These fixed costs include those charged for meter reading, servicing and network maintenance.

Electric Ireland originally said that without the charge they were unable to recover the cost of supplying electricity to low usage customers. In some cases, these costs are not recovered fully, where a building is left vacant for example.

How much was it?

The Low User Standing Charge used to cost €5.25 (inc. VAT) per billing period or every 61 days. This is 8.63 cents more per day than the normal standing charge.

How was the charge calculated?

The Low User Standing Charge was calculated and billed every two months, so it is possible that you may have been charged in some billing cycles and not in others.

If you use an average of two units (2kWh) or less of electricity every day for a billing cycle (61 days), you would have paid a low-user standing charge.

If you do use 122 kWh of electricity every two months (732 kWh in a year), you would be using just 17% of the national average energy consumption, which is 4,200kWh of electricity.

Were there any exemptions to the Low User Standing Charge?

Yes. Customers who receive a Free Electricity Allowance didn't have to pay the Low User Standing Charge. 

Customers on Household Budget Plan and Pay As You Go meters were also exempt from the charge. 

What appliances use 2kWh or less electricity per day?

It is worth noting that most household appliances will use at least 2kWh of electricity per day, or more depending on what’s in use.

For example, a house alarm and a refrigerator running in a property will likely use enough electricity to avoid this charge.

Here’s a list of other everyday appliances that will use an average of two units or more per day.

  • Dishwasher - around 2kWh per load
  • Fridge - roughly 2kWh per day
  • Clothes dryer - 2-4kWh per load

The typical residential energy customer uses 14 units of electricity per day so this charge is generally not something most customers have to worry about. 

Take a look at our guide on which appliances use the most electricity to learn more about how electricity is consumed in your house.

Consider switching supplier

At bonkers.ie, you can quickly switch energy suppliers with our easy-to-use energy comparison tool, which compares deals across all of Ireland's energy suppliers.

Before switching, it may be useful to take a look at the following guides to ensure that you’re making an informed decision:

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