Electric Ireland August increase now live - East Coast FM
Electric Ireland's second price increase of the year has come into effect as of 1 August.
Our Head of Communications, Daragh Cassidy joined Declan on East Coast FM to discuss the latest price hike, as well as the state of the energy market, and how to save money on your energy bills by switching your supplier.
How much are prices increasing?
Electric Ireland has increased its electricity unit rate by 11.35% and its gas unit rate by 31.9%. Its standing charge for electricity and gas will also increase by the same amounts.
The price hikes mark the supplier’s second increase of the year. You can learn more about the increases in this article.
Why are energy prices increasing when suppliers are earning so much?
Some suppliers are making money and it’s tough for customers to digest price increases when you see how much they’re making.
The profits of the Irish division have increased by around 60-70%, around €30-35 million. This isn’t a huge amount of money if you try to give it back to consumers in terms of lower prices.
Some suppliers have been struggling. The ones that generate electricity, such as SSE Airtricity and Energia are making some good money on the generation side.
However, some suppliers that only supply electricity, such as Flogas and PrepayPower are struggling and are making a loss.
We had three suppliers leave the Irish market recently - Iberdrola, Glow Power and Bright Energy - so there’s a lot of flux.
In the UK 30 suppliers have gone out of business, thousands have lost their jobs, and it’s a crisis worldwide, but particularly in Europe.
Who is Centrica?
Centrica is a British company that owns Bord Gáis Energy. They’ve made some pretty big profits in the UK - over a billion Euro, I think.
It’s the highest they’ve made in several years, but they have made some losses in recent years as well.
Here Bord Gáis Energy has made €30-35 million in the first six months of the year, so questions might be asked with regards to some of the price increases that have been pushed through.
Are energy companies obligated to inform customers about a price increase?
There is an obligation to inform people, mostly through the media. Most suppliers would have the courtesy to inform customers by email or text.
If people aren’t receiving notifications of price hikes, they might not have opted-in to receiving communications from a GDPR point of view.
Electric Ireland is one of the better companies at sending communications though.
Are price increases considered a change of contract?
No, it’s not considered a change of contract, as you’re still getting your discount if you’ve been with the supplier for less than 12 months.
When you sign up for a new deal, you’re signing up for a discount off the standard rate. This discount won’t change. So if you’re with Electric Ireland and you’re getting a 20% discount, you’re still getting this discount off the higher rate. So your contract hasn’t been broken.
The fee for breaking your gas or electricity contract isn’t that high. It’s usually €50 per fuel. You can learn all about cancelling your energy contract here.
Is switching supplier still worthwhile?
Even though prices are going up, switching energy suppliers is still worthwhile. If you get a discount of 30-40%, it could equate to annual savings of €700 or €800.
This would definitely lessen the impact price hikes have had, especially since January 2021 electricity bills on average have increased by €900 a year, and gas bills have gone up by around €700-800 a year.
You’re looking at paying an additional €1,600 on your energy bills, so it still pays to switch and we’d encourage people to do so.
How to reduce the cost of your energy bills
By making small changes around your home, you can try to cut down the cost of your bills:
- Get LED light bulbs
- Tackle draughts
- Opt for cooler cycles when your clothes and dishes
- Unplug appliances when not in use
- Take shorter showers
- Look into retrofitting your home if you can afford it
- Take advantage of a NightSaver Meter if you have one
There are always good discounts available if you’re ready to switch, so we’d advise changing supplier every year.
You can use our free energy comparison service to review the best deals against your current tariff and see how much you could save.
Discover how to use our comparison service in our energy Quickstart Guide.
Get in touch
If you have any questions or queries about Electric Ireland’s increase, feel free to get in touch with us.