herald

Monday 18 December 2017

We're first to change our power suppliers

Gas prices continue to rise
Gas prices continue to rise

Irish people lead Europe in switching their gas and electricity suppliers.

Customers here are reaping the benefits of a more competitive market, the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) has said.

The commission's latest report shows the rate of customers switching between energy suppliers intensified last year, with new supplier Energia entering the domestic gas and electricity markets.

Some 14pc of the 2.2 million electricity customers and 16pc of 670,000 gas customers switched supplier last year.

This rate is among the highest in Europe and has been helped by a simple, fast and free switching process approved by the commission.

The report showed Irish domestic energy prices are around average in the Eurozone.

The commission welcomed increased competition among suppliers, which - combined with lower wholesale prices - puts downward pressure on Irish energy prices.

Suppliers recently announced domestic price reductions of around 2pc to 4pc for electricity and 2.5pc to 4pc for gas.

The commission expects further price reductions before next winter if low wholesale prices continue.

Fewer customers are being disconnected for non-payment of energy bills.

From July to September last year, 1,910 domestic electricity customers or 0.09pc were disconnected and 966 domestic gas customers (0.15pc) were disconnected.

difficulty

This improvement was attributed to initiatives by suppliers and stakeholders, including CER monitoring.

The CER advises customers in financial difficulty to engage early with their supplier to avail of options such as payment plans and free Pay-As-You-Go meters.

"The CER recommends that all energy customers should consider switching or at least asking their current supplier if a better tariff is available," said CER chairman Garrett Blaney.

aokeeffe@herald.ie

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