Loyalty to an energy supplier no longer rewarded - KCLR
Our Head of Communications, Daragh Cassidy, spoke on KCLR about rising energy costs, and how staying with the same supplier each year is negatively affecting your pocket.
Daragh discussed the benefits of switching suppliers and whether the introduction of smart meters has increased the cost of energy bills In Ireland.
Loyalty to a supplier is not rewarded
At bonkers.ie, our mantra is loyalty doesn't pay and if you want the best prices on your gas, electricity, broadband or insurance bills, you need to be switching suppliers regularly. Although that may not seem fair and an unnecessary hassle for customers, it is something you just have to do.
Thankfully, switching your gas and electricity bill is quick and easy, and with over a dozen energy suppliers in Ireland, you will have plenty of choices when you decide to make the switch.
Can I switch suppliers if I am still in contract with them?
Technically, you can switch gas and electricity suppliers when you are in contract with your current provider, but you may be subjected to a cancellation fee. Usually, this breakage fee is €50 per fuel, so you will be charged €50 for changing your gas supplier and €50 for switching electricity supplier.
However, if you are still in contract, you are likely getting a good deal on your gas and electricity prices already. This is because you are still availing of the discounted rate you got on your bills when you initially signed up with your current supplier.
Do I really have to switch suppliers every year?
It would be unwise to stay with the same provider year after year; people's tendency to do this is seen in particular in the health insurance sector. There is a misguided belief that when you claim you will be looked after better because you have been loyal to a provider such as VHI, for several years. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
When it comes to gas and electricity, I always say that your kettle won’t boil any differently if your electricity comes from a certain supplier nor will your house feel warmer if you choose one gas supplier over another.
People need to realise that electricity and gas all come through the same network. There is only one network for electricity, which is managed by ESB, and the same goes for gas which is managed by Gas Networks Ireland. The only difference to your gas and electricity services when you switch is that your bill will look different and have a different brand on it.
I really encourage those who haven’t switched in a long time, to not be scared about doing it. You could save up to €500 or more by changing suppliers, with some providers offering a discounted rate of 40% for new customers.
Seeing as we are in the midst of an energy crisis that has caused gas and electricity prices to skyrocket, you need to avail of these discounted rates to reduce the cost of your ever-increasing energy bills.
Has my smart meter caused an increase in my electricity costs?
No, it hasn’t. Unfortunately, energy prices are on the rise at the moment. Last year, there were 35 different price hike announcements from gas and electricity suppliers, with some even increasing their prices 5 times in 2021 alone.
It just so happens that the rise in prices has coincided with the rollout of smart meters across the country. This has left many people assuming that their energy bills have gone up in price because they now have a smart meter, but that is not the case.
Are you signed up to the right smart meter tariff?
A good thing about smart meters is that you can sign up for a smart tariff. These tariffs charge you different electricity prices depending on the time of day you use electricity.
For instance, some deals with Bord Gáis Energy and Electric Ireland give you completely free electricity over the weekend. So you can do the washing, tumble drying and cleaning on the weekend to your heart's content and not be charged. However, they do charge a slightly higher rate on electricity outside of these times.
So for those who have signed up for a smart tariff, and have had an increase in your bills, you need to make sure that you are using energy at the right times to suit the tariff you are on. If you aren’t using energy at the right times, then you need to either change your tariff entirely or change your energy usage habits to suit the tariff you’re currently on.
Smart meters and smart tariffs should be working to help you manage your energy usage more effectively, as well cutting the cost of your bills. However, these benefits may not be evident currently due to the increase in gas and electricity prices as a result of the energy crisis.
Switch and Save on your energy bills
If your pocket has felt the pinch caused by rising energy costs, it may be time to consider switching to a different provider. With our free and easy to use comparison service, you will be able to compare the best deals and prices across gas and electricity suppliers in minutes.
All you need to do is grab an energy bill, head over to our comparison tool and input your data. Our helpful guide on the subject will walk you through the comparison process so you can find the right supplier for you.
Once you have chosen your new energy provider you can begin the switching process.
You can learn more about how to cut the cost of your energy bills today with our range of helpful guides and blogs on the subject such as 15 ways to use less electricity to save money or 10 ways to heat your home for less.