CER report reveals Ireland energy switching rates are among highest in Europe
Entry of Energia into domestic energy market boosts competition between suppliers
The Commission for Energy Regulation has revealed that competition in domestic energy market in Ireland is increasing as more customers are opting to switch suppliers.
The Electricity and Gas Retail Market Report for the third quarter of 2014 showed that the rate of customers switching intensified thanks to Energia entering the market.
More than 15% of customers switched electricity suppliers in 2014 and 16% switched gas suppliers thanks to the increased competition in the domestic market.
Customer protection in Ireland has also improved according to the CER, a factor that has contributed to the country having one of the highest switching rates in Europe.
Energy price reductions
Eurostat data for 2014 shows that Irish domestic energy prices are around the average cost noted in the rest of the Eurozone.
However, Irish suppliers recently announced domestic price reductions of approximately 2% to 4% in electricity and 2.5% to 4% in gas.
The CER added that further reductions are expected if low wholesale prices continue through the year.
Fewer Irish customers were disconnected for non-payment of bills in Q3, suggesting that new initiatives from stakeholders and suppliers, including CER monitoring, are aiding customers.
In total 1,910 domestic electricity customers were disconnected accounting for 0.09% of the overall total while 966 gas customers, or 0.15% of the total, had services halted.
The CER report also suggests that customers contact their suppliers to see if they could take advantage of alternative payment plans or free Pay-As-You-Go meters.
Garrett Blaney, the CER’s Chairperson, said the commission was “encouraged” by the offers available to customers and the reductions announced by suppliers.
“The CER reminds customers that switching supplier is simple, free and fast, and it has absolutely no effect on quality of supply,” he said.
“Customers can easily switch supplier online or via phone at no cost, needing only the meter number from their current bill and payment details.”
Consumers can save up to €307 by switching from the most expensive average standard tariff to the cheapest energy deal on the market.