Bonkers.ie gets CER approval for people to check energy prices

Ireland’s first comparison and switching site for electricity, gas and duel fuel prices, Bonkers.ie, has just been accredited by the Commission for Energy Regulation.

The site has exceeded the standards stipulated by the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER), said its co-founders Simon Moynihan and David Kerr this morning.

CER chairperson Dermot Nolan confirmed Bonkers.ie had met all the requirements to gain accreditation for its price comparison website around gas and electricity markets.

The site, which is an online portal for people to compare energy prices, has already helped 150,000 consumers make savings on either their gas or electricity.

Electricity hikes

It would appear to be a timely move from CER to accredit the website, because, as of 1 April, around 680,000 householders (some 600,000 with Airtricity, and the remainder with Electric Ireland (formerly ESB)) are going to see their electricity prices rise. The 80,000 figure pertains to those who switched their electricity or gas back to Electric Ireland between April and August 2011.

Free, impartial service

Kerr said that 276,000 electricity customers have already switched provider since the market was fully deregulated last year.

He said this proved how householders are very keen to make sure they don't pay more than necessary.

"Householders can use Bonkers.ie to check their current supplier and tariff against all others available in the market, or they can simply confirm that their current energy plan best meets their needs. In either case, the service provided by Bonkers.ie is free," said Kerr.

It was back in 2010 that Kerr (now managing director) and Moynihan set up Bonkers.ie as a free personal finance comparison service to allow people to compare and switch electricity, gas and dual fuel suppliers.

The duo have a combined 15 years of experience in the UK price-comparison space, one of the most mature price comparison markets in the world, said Moynihan this morning.

Kerr said that because energy tariffs are becoming more complex, there has never been a greater need for a comparison site that consumers can trust.

In the UK, for instance, Moynihan said there are about 12 similar price comparison websites that are regulated by Consumer Focus.

He said that what Bonkers.ie is aiming to do is help people make sense of their energy prices, especially as the electricity market is not regulated anymore here in Ireland.

Last year, Bonkers.ie won an Eircom Spider Award for Best Financial Services Website. The privately held and self-funded website is currently in discussions with potential investors.

Carmel Doyle


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