Switching makes sense... but do your research first

With Bill Tyson


An SSE Electricity agent called to my door and told me I could save money by switching my gas and electricity supply from my current suppliers: Bord Gáis and Electric Ireland. It seemed to make sense—so I did. Was I right?


Switching is almost always a good idea as providers often penalise people for loyalty with one-year-only discounts for new customers. But generally you'd be better off not buying anything from someone who calls to your door. Whoever it is will be a trained salesperson with a special interest in flogging something that may or may not be the best value.

If they're good, they will establish a rapport with you. You'll feel guilty if you don't buy from them – and also if you back out. That's human nature. By all means listen if you like: they may flag special offers and remind you to switch. But don't rush into buying anything. Politely decline and say you will look into it yourself. With gas and electricity, you can easily log onto a comparison site – such as bonkers.ie – to see where you stand and even get an extra discount for buying online. Here, in the panel below, is what you can save if you go with the same supplier for both (dual fuel-DF).

The deal you were sold is the fourth cheapest out of over 20 DF plans. You'd save €161 a year compared to your current plan. But you could save €267 with Energia's offer. Usually you save more with DF deals, but you in fact would save most of by going to separate suppliers-Flogas for gas and Energia for electricity. There's a 14-day cooling-off period in which to change your mind.


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