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Electricity switching went up in 2016, while gas switching levels dropped

This is according to the 2016 Retail Markets Annual Report from the CER.

The Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) has released its Retail Markets Annual Report for 2016, and it highlights switching levels in Ireland.

In 2016, the number of people switching electricity increased to 317,719, up from 303,187 in 2015. Meanwhile, the total number of gas switches in 2016 was 93,434, down from 106,862 in 2015.

These figures mean a 14.13% switching rate for electricity, and a 14.4% switching rate for gas, putting Ireland amongst the top countries in the EU for switching.

Inertia in the energy market

However, while we’re doing well, relatively, in terms of switching rates, what these figures really reveal is that the vast majority of us do not switch regularly.

Another tell-tale sign that points to inertia in the market is that customer awareness of Electric Ireland and Bord Gåis Energy - who were the two suppliers before deregulation - remains higher than awareness of other suppliers.

At the end of 2016, Electric Ireland still had 52% of the domestic electricity market, while Bord Gais Energy has 51% of the domestic gas market.

In addition to this, over half of domestic energy customers that had switched supplier in the last 12 months defaulted to a standard tariff, which means a large number of customers who were recently active in the market didn’t renegotiate their contract or switch in 2016.

Switching does save money

As the CER has pointed out, 2016 saw price reductions across all suppliers for both discounted and standard plans.

At the moment, Energia has the cheapest discounted electricity plan on the market, with 33% off the standard rate. Meanwhile, Flogas has the cheapest discounted gas tariff, which has a 22% discount.

What all of this means is that, if you haven’t switched in the last year, doing so WILL save you money - potentially hundreds of euro per year. And you’ll make ongoing savings if you decide to receive bills online and pay by direct debit, too, as the CER found discounts on energy plans continue to focus on billing and payment methods.

Switching is quick, easy and free using Switcher.ie’s CER-accredited gas and electricity comparison tool, so why not see how much you could save?

Switch and save now