How to save on energy bills this winter - KFM
Bord Gáis Energy has just announced that it’s the latest to hike residential gas and electricity prices. From October 24th the average household with Bord Gáis Energy will see gas prices increase by approximately €8.16 a month and electricity prices increase by €10.26 a month.
Our Head of Communications, Daragh Cassidy, appeared on KFM to discuss the impact of energy prices on households this winter and ways to reduce energy consumption and save money.
Here’s a breakdown of what was discussed by Daragh in the interview
Energy price increases
We’re in the middle of an unprecedented energy crisis. While the price increases from Bord Gáis Energy are quite high, some of the smaller energy suppliers, who would have tens of thousands of customers between them, have announced even bigger price increases.
Some suppliers have announced price increases that are going to add around €700-800 a year to the average household energy bill.
If you want to know why suppliers are increasing prices so much, you can learn more in this blog.
Will consumers struggle to pay their winter bills?
Potentially. Gas and electricity bills are always a bit of a struggle at the best of times, especially during winter and after Christmas.
Energy prices in Ireland aren’t cheap and we actually have among the highest electricity prices in the EU. Until recently we had some of the most expensive gas prices too, but the price of gas is now closer to the EU average.
Heating homes here isn't cheap. A lot of homes in Ireland don’t have a great building energy rating (BER). We have a cold, damp climate so we do spend a lot of money on energy in Ireland.
A lot of the price increases recently have gone under the radar. Summer has just ended and we also had a nice September. It's been quite warm but as we move into the winter months and turn on the heating and lights, people will get a shock when they see their winter bills.
How can people try and save on their bills?
Prices are going up across the board. There are 14 energy suppliers in the Irish market, which is quite a lot, and they've all increased prices since the start of the year. Some, such as Panda Power, have even increased their prices four times, which is unprecedented.
There is still value to be had by switching energy suppliers though. Energy companies offer great discounts to new customers. It’s like when you look for car insurance or a new mobile phone provider, they’re always offering the best deals to new customers. You could get a discount of 30-40% off standard rates by switching.
Even though it’s only a discount off a higher price, as prices are still increasing, at least you’re saving. At the moment someone who switches could save around €500 a year on their energy bills.
If you’re on standard rates and you’re paying top dollar because you haven’t switched in a while, you can save big money. If you switch your bill this year might not be that much more expensive than last year.
How can people reduce their energy consumption?
There are so many energy-saving tips online, so people should have a quick Google. The SEAI (Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland) also has some great information on how to reduce energy consumption without leaving yourself in the cold and dark.
There are simple things, such as opting to use LED light bulbs. These use around 80-90% less electricity than standard light bulbs. Changing one would save around €6 a year. This might not seem like a lot but if you changed around 10 light bulbs around the home, you’re looking at saving €60. It’s also good to note that LED light bulbs tend to last ten times longer than non-LED light bulbs.
Another thing to be mindful of is overfilling the kettle if you’re making a cup of tea or coffee. Boiling water consumes a huge amount of electricity, which a lot of people don’t realise.
Some of the newer cookers are A-rated and use very little electricity but if you have a cooker that’s 5-10 years old, they can be quite expensive. If you put the oven on for an hour to cook a Sunday roast, it’s the equivalent of spending around 15-20 minutes in an electric shower.
Similarly, you should try to remember to unplug appliances at night time, such as laptops and computers. They can guzzle energy. It’s called phantom or vampire electricity because it sucks out electricity. This can all add up as well.
You should also look at tackling draughts in the home as well, which is another key thing.
While these all seem like small things, you could end up saving around €200 on your annual energy bills by taking these additional steps.
Switch and save today
As mentioned, switching energy supplier could save you a significant amount on your household bills this winter.
It’s quick and easy to switch and can all be done on bonkers.ie in the space of a few minutes. Use our energy comparison tool to compare the best deals today across all 14 energy suppliers nationwide.
Before making the switch, you may want to take a look at some of the following:
- Learn about what you need to switch energy suppliers in this guide.
- Here is a list of some of the most frequently asked questions about the energy switching process.
- Have a read of our guide on 7 things to consider when switching energy supplier to know what to look out for when switching.