How you can save on winter energy bills - WLR FM
It seems as though gas and electricity prices are set to continue rising for the foreseeable future due to the ongoing energy crisis. Just last week Bord Gáis Energy became the latest supplier to announce another price increase, leaving consumers wondering how their winter bills will be impacted.
CEO of bonkers.ie, David Kerr, appeared on WLR FM to discuss the recent spate of energy price increases that have led to Ireland’s energy crisis. In the interview, David outlines the impact these increases will have on household energy bills and how consumers can mitigate the price hikes.
Here’s a breakdown of the points discussed by David in the interview.
What’s happening in the energy market at the moment?
What’s happened so far this year has been far in excess of anything we’ve ever seen in the history of the State since the regulation of gas and electricity for consumers.
Some energy companies have in some cases increased prices four times already this year. This has never happened before and it’s something that people need to be mindful of as we go into the cold winter months.
The noticeable impact on bills
Prices from companies started to rise in the spring. In fact, some companies only had around two weeks in August in between increasing their prices.
This is unprecedented and people may have started to notice it already in recent bills, but we’ll certainly notice it in our next bills, at the end of October. We’ll have the heating on more and as the clocks change, we’ll have the lights on more.
The increases will add around €500-600 extra to the average consumer’s annual energy bill. These figures are based on an average household energy usage of 4,200 kWh per annum for electricity and 11,000 kWh per annum for gas, as defined by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU).
This, for example, could be the equivalent to a 3 bedroom semi-detached house with 3-4 people occupying the home. The additional cost is an increase in last year’s prices alone. If you think back to last year’s prices, add on another one third and that’s what prices are going to be for the next 12 months. This is pretty bad news.
People can either do nothing about it and pay the higher bills, or they can take action and change their tariffs by switching suppliers. They can take advantage of all the discounts that are available to them before they go away or are reduced.
How easy is it to switch provider?
It’s very easy to switch, but if you’re happy with your provider and like being with them, call them up and ask if they can give you a better price than the one you’re paying.
If you’re not happy with that price, or they don’t have anything to offer you, then you can go onto a website like bonkers.ie.
You can pick if you want to pay by direct debit or manage your account online, etc. You can switch in a matter of moments, you don’t need much information at hand.
To switch, you’ll only need:
- A GPRN number if switching gas and an MPRN number if switching electricity
- A recent meter reading
- A good estimate of how much energy you use
- Some personal details
You can read our guide on what you need to switch suppliers to find out more.
After inputting these details, we take care of everything else for you.
Switch every year
The main difference between car insurance and energy is that you have to buy car insurance every single year if you want to maintain a car on the road. With electricity and gas prices, you have to just pay what they send you and if you don’t take action the prices might keep on increasing.
We should look at gas and electricity the same way we look at home insurance and car insurance.
At the moment 6 out of 7 people don’t switch on a yearly basis. Only 1 in 7 households take action and switch every year, which is quite low.
Can people still save this winter?
There’s good news for listeners because the savings now can be as high as almost €600 with some deals and discounts. You can completely mitigate this year’s increases by simply taking action and changing supplier.
Keep in mind that the cheapest provider on the market mightn’t necessarily suit you though. Often with the cheapest offers, you have to pay by direct debit or manage your account online which doesn’t suit everybody.
I would also encourage listeners to provide their own meter readings so that the ESB network doesn’t have to rely on estimated readings. These estimates can give consumers a real bill shock.
Looking for more information?
If you’re seeking further information on why exactly energy prices are increasing, take a look at our recent blog post on the topic.
We also have a range of helpful guides and articles for those looking to make the switch:
- As mentioned above, the cheapest price might not suit everyone. Here are 7 important things to keep in mind during the switching process.
- We’ve compiled a list of the most common questions we get asked about the energy switching process here so that you can switch with ease.
- If you’re still in contract but want to switch, you may be subject to an early exit fee which is something to be mindful of.
Get in touch with us
Will you be switching supplier to offset winter energy price increases? If you have any questions about the process, feel free to get in touch with us!