What influences the cost of my standing charge? - KCLR 96FM

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Daragh Cassidy, Head of Communications at spoke on KCLR about the standing charge associated with different electricity meters, in particular, prepay meters

Listen to the interview above or look at the main points below.

Main points from the interview

  • You can find the standing charge or service charge outlined on your energy bill or you can contact your energy provider
  • Standing charges will vary depending on whether you live in an urban or rural area  and whether you have a smart meter, a 24-hour meter or a day and night meter, also known as a NightSaver meter
  • For example, people in urban areas will be charged a smaller standing charge than those living in rural areas. While those on a 24-hour meter will be charged less compared to those on day and night meters. 
  • Electric Ireland used to penalise people who only used a very small amount of electricity but that charge is gone now. 
  • If you are living in an apartment by yourself and using a small amount of energy, you are still paying the same standing charge as a family living in a four-bed detached house with three kids.
  • People who have signed up for prepaid electricity plans are quite often taken advantage of by suppliers and are charged expensive standing charges and high electricity rates. 
  • If you look at Prepay Power, one of the biggest prepay suppliers in the country, its customers are charged a standing charge of 93 cents per day excluding VAT, and on top of that they are charged an additional 33 cents for having a prepay meter.
  • This equates to over one euro a day, totalling around €50 a month if it is a 24-hour meter. If you’re on a NightSaver meter you should expect to pay more.
  • On the other hand, if you look at prepay providers at the moment they have some of the lowest complaint rates from customers amongst suppliers.
  • Believe it or not, Prepay Power currently has the lowest price per unit of electricity on the market at 39 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity, however, depending on how much electricity you use, coupled with the standing and prepay meter charge, this could quickly end up costing you more than you expect. 
  • The ESB announced its operating profits soared to €847 million for 2022, an increase from €679 million in 2021. It also announced a dividend of €327million which will go to the government that will hopefully be used to provide another energy credit to consumers. 
  • The remaining €400-€500 million will be put into maintaining and upgrading the electricity grid. 
  • According to Daragh, if money isn’t invested into the grid over the next 10 years, then the grid will not be able to help us meet our climate change targets or cope with our growing population. 

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