How to reduce the burden of your gas and electricity bills - 96FM Cork

Image audioImage How to reduce the burden of your gas and electricity bills - 96FM Cork

Darragh Cassidy, Head of Communications at bonkers.ie, spoke with PJ Coogan on 96FM Cork about how you can reduce the cost of your gas and electricity bills by switching energy suppliers. Coogan recently made the switch using the comparison tools on bonkers.ie. Here they discuss the benefits of switching and the great savings that can be made. 

You can listen back to the interview above or take a look at the main points below.

Energy prices hit record highs 

Gas and electricity bills have never been higher in Ireland. According to the Central Statistics Office (CSO), gas prices are up by 30%, while electricity is up by 23%. 

However, our analysis has uncovered that these figures underestimate the price hikes announced by certain suppliers. We found that some energy providers, in particular, the smaller ones, increased their prices by a shocking 50%-70%.

Unfortunately, this does not come as a surprise as there were over 35 price increases announced by energy suppliers in 2021, with some even announcing 5 different price hikes throughout the year. 

How can you reduce the burden of these bills? 

There are big savings to be made if you choose to switch your gas and electricity suppliers. 

On average people can save between 500-600. However, if you are switching from one of the smaller more expensive providers, you could save up to 1,000. 

These are savings you don’t want to miss, especially with the price increases people have and are set to endure this winter. Thankfully, gas and electricity bills are the easiest of the household bills to switch. 

In fact, with bonkers.ie’s free and easy-to-use online energy comparison tool, you will be able to discover the best gas and electricity deals out there for you in minutes.  

The best prices are reserved for new customers

Irish consumers have been overpaying on their energy bills due to their reluctance to switch providers. 

In years gone by it was normal to stick with one provider for several years, and pay whatever the rate may be as it fluctuated throughout the year. However with the arrival of the energy crisis, people, in particular lower-income households, are unable to manage their energy bills anymore. As a result, they are spending a disproportionate amount of their money on keeping their homes warm.

People need to realise that energy suppliers reserve the best prices on gas and electricity deals for their new costumes. If you want to avail of these discounted rates, you need to be switching suppliers each year. Luckily, there is a lot of choice surrounding the different gas and electricity providers in Ireland.

What do I need to have to switch energy providers on bonkers.ie?

Here at bonkers.ie, we are dedicated to helping you save money on your household bills. We are accredited by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU), so you know you are getting a trustworthy and reliable service. 

To be provided with a list of the different energy suppliers and their deals, you must provide us with some information regarding your energy consumption such as:

  • If switching gas, you’ll need your GPRN number. If you’re switching electricity, you’ll need your MPRN. These numbers help identify your property and are unique to your household. They 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.

Once you have submitted this information, you can select the best gas and electricity deal for you! You won’t even have to ring your old supplier to let them know you are leaving. It is that simple!

How does bonkers make money?

We receive a small payment from the suppliers once someone chooses to switch to their plan or services. 

However, it is important to note that this doesn’t affect the prices the consumers are shown when they use our comparison tools, as you receive a direct quote from the suppliers. Our services are entirely free for consumers. 

We also receive money from advertising on our website. 

Will I be notified by my supplier if my deal is coming to an end?

Yes. You will usually receive a letter from your supplier indicating that your renewal date is approaching. This means the discount you received in your first year with them will end, and you will be reverted to the standard rate. 

However, we advise that you keep note of your renewal date yourself, so you do not forget when your discount ends, and so you make plans to switch to a new supplier in due course.

According to our research, only 20% of Irish consumers switch their gas and electricity suppliers each year. An astonishing 50-60% of the population have not switched providers in the last 5 years, meaning that the increase in energy prices will hit them hard. 

As the discounted rates from various gas and electricity suppliers range between 20%-40% for new customers, these are savings you want to take advantage of. 

Do I have to pay to have my pay-as-you-go meter removed?

Unfortunately, if you move from a pay-as-you-go meter to a normal prepaid meter you will usually have to pay a fee of  200 to have the pay-as-you-go meter removed. 

For those of you considering the move to pay-as-you-go gas or electricity, be aware that it tends to be the more expensive alternative.

This is because you will be paying a higher unit rate, a daily meter standard rate as well as a rate for the prepaid meter. 

You can review the pros and cons of pay-as-you-go electricity in this guide.

Save up to 7,000 when you switch on bonkers.ie 

Switching the providers of your household bills could result in big savings annually. At bonkers.ie, we provide free and easy-to-use comparison tools that can help you compare deals and prices for energy, broadband, banking and other insurance products in just a few minutes. 

All our services are free, except for health insurance. We charge a small fee for this, due to the complexity of the product. This is because you will need to sit down with one of our industry experts to discuss the different plans that are best suited to your needs.  

Contrary to what many Irish consumers believe, providers across the board do not reward loyalty. By reviewing various household bills, you could even save up to €7,000.

Get in touch

Have you received a staggeringly high gas and electricity bill recently? Tell us about your experience today. Contact us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.