Energy Prices

Consumers have been warned about rising energy prices. Many have been urged to beat immense energy price hikes by switching suppliers. According to new research from the energy regulator shows that house holders who actively switched electricity providers over the last four years have saved more than €1,000.

According to the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities, seven electricity suppliers announced that energy prices will rise in the next few months. The average increase in energy costs amounted to 5 percent for electricity and 13 percent for gas according to the commission for regulation and utilities.

Across the last four years, those who choose not to switch their suppliers for both electricity and gas suppliers over the last four years could have saved €1,700. The CRU claimed that savings made through changing electricity and gas suppliers 0r negotiating with a current supplier could have helped customers save on the recent raises in price. The CRU further described switching rates by consumers last year as “robust”. In other words consumers who took the advice to switch providers or negotiate with their current supplier were strongly benefitted with immense savings.

14% of electricity customers and 20% of gas customers switched suppliers over 2018. In October of 2018, there was an 8 year high in switching rates for gas, and in November of 2018, a seven year high in electricity switching was shown.

Recently, rules regarding switching for energy suppliers were changed. The changes included measures that required energy suppliers to notify customers if they have been on the same energy tariff for three or more years. Also, energy suppliers are now required to give consumers 30 days of notice before the end of a fixed-term contract.

These regulations imposed are greatly beneficial towards the Irish electricity and gas consumer. Requirements for suppliers to notify customers of changes in price and giving customers notice allows greater time for customers to research into switching suppliers or to negotiate lower rates with current suppliers.

The recent increases in price are related to the increasing prices of exported energy. Ireland imports most of its gas from abroad. Thus, Ireland is susceptible to increase in the price of energy on international wholesale markets. Gas prices have increased because global demand for gas has risen while Ireland’s main supplier of gas, Norway is restructuring their pipeline.

Oil is also imported which is an essential component of producing electricity. The increase of price of oil is due to increase in global demand, heightening restrictions on output from oil producing countries.

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