Switch and Save: Fight back rising energy costs - East Coast FM
Darragh Cassidy, Head of Communications at bonkers.ie, appeared on East Coast FM to discuss how you can save money on your gas and electricity bills by switching providers. They looked at the benefits and ease of switching providers and discussed the different options facing Irish consumers.
You can listen back to the interview above or take a look at the main points below.
The impact of the energy crisis
The energy crisis of 2021 left many Irish households scared to open their gas and electricity bills. This is no surprise seeing there were over 35 price hike announcements from all energy suppliers in Ireland. Some even raised their prices 5 times over the past 12 months.
With the cold weather and the continuation of people working at home due to COVID, you can expect an expensive energy bill. Now, more than ever is the time to switch providers and save money.
Why you should switch and save?
All energy deals in Ireland are called variable tariffs. This means that when you purchase a deal you get a discounted rate on top of that.
Even though the price of the standard rate may fluctuate throughout the year, the discount you got on your deal will still be applicable, meaning you still get a discount on your gas or electricity bill.
But who is taking advantage of the discounted rates from switching suppliers?
- According to our research, 15%-20% of people switch energy providers religiously each year.
- 5%-10% of people try to re-negotiate with their energy supplier, resulting in them getting a half-decent deal.
- We discovered that a staggering 50%-60% of Irish consumers rarely switch providers. These people are the ones who will suffer the most and will end up over-paying on their gas and electricity bills.
Here at bonkers.ie, we always say ‘being loyal doesn’t pay’, in fact, it's quite the opposite. People who switch their gas and electricity suppliers each year can save on average €500-600 on their bills, with even some being able to save up to €1,000 if they are with the more expensive providers.
This is why we encourage people to monitor their energy usage, check what plan they’re on, and see if they're locked into a contract. If they aren’t they should be looking around for different deals to see what's out there and what can save them money every 12 months.
Switching providers is quick and easy
Switching providers has never been easier, with our free comparison tool you can discover the best deals available for you in just a few minutes! You won’t even need to tell your existing supplier that you are planning on switching.
All you need to do is provide bonkers.ie with some information:
- For switching gas you need to have your GPRN number. For switching electricity you need to have your MPRN number. These numbers help identify your property and are unique to your household and can be found on a recent bill.
- An estimate of how much energy you use each month or year, either in kWh or in euro.
- When you use your energy. This will depend on whether or not you have a NightSaver meter.
- A recent meter reading.
- Some personal details.
If you are unsure about how much energy you use, take a look at your energy bill to find out. You can also ring your provider and ask them, or tell us how much money you roughly spent over the last year on energy and we can calculate that figure for you.
Once this information is submitted, we will do all the calculations and comparisons for you to determine what is the cheapest deal for you. It’s that simple!
What are some of the best deals available right now?
- 25% discount on their electricity
- 30% discount on their electricity with bonkers.ie
- 2-year plan
- €220 cashback for electricity (meaning your first bill will be very small)
- Unit rate is over 22c per kilowatt
- You can convert your SuperValu real rewards vouchers into money-off vouchers for your Electric Ireland bills
Cashback deals like this are especially beneficial for low energy users. However, for those who do not live alone and are high energy users, you should go with a supplier that offers a lower unit rate.
Is there an advantage to having a dual fuel deal?
Usually, it is not in the consumer's best interest to have both their gas and electricity contracts with the same supplier. As the price of gas and electricity changes throughout the year, the benefits of having only one supplier really depends on the offers available at the time and how the energy market is performing.
The advantage of having separate gas and electricity providers is that you will be able to track your usage and compare. However, our free comparison tool can do all this for you.
Do any of the providers offer retention deals after the first 12 months?
If you are lucky you may be able to avail of a discounted retention deal after your first year with a supplier. However, this is not provided by all suppliers, and if it is, you must be prepared to haggle and negotiate on the price you will pay.
Is Pay-As-You-Go cheaper than a monthly bill?
No, it isn’t. We understand that because of rising energy charges, many people, especially in lower-income households, will turn to Pay-As-You-Go meters because they believe they can keep an eye on their usage and reduce costs.
However, for the vast majority of people, these meters will end up costing them more money. This is because you have to pay a premium on a PAYG meter, which is quite an expensive rate, as well as a pre-pay meter charge.
Compare energy on bonkers.ie
Comparing energy suppliers is easy with our free comparison tool. Check it out today so you can avail of the best gas and electricity deals energy providers in Ireland have to offer!