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Growing number of Irish customers opting to switch energy suppliers

Latest CER report reveals September figures closing in on record number of gas and electricity switches

The number of customers switching energy supplier in the domestic gas and electricity market rose in September, according to the Commission for Energy Regulation.

The CER’s Change of Supplier report for September 2014 showed that more customers were choosing to switch than a month previously.

Electricity switches

There was plenty of switching in the domestic electricity market, although there were widespread losses and gains for the major suppliers. In total, 28,410 customers switched electricity supplier in September, marking the highest rate of switches since April 2014 and the second highest figure from the last 21 months. Energia – only on the scene since the start of 2014 – reported a net gain of 6,938 customers, the highest gains noted by any of the suppliers.

PrePayPower also reported a net gain of 2,243 customers, the only other supplier to report an increase in custom in September. SSE Airtricity, Electric Ireland and Bord Gáis Energy all lost electricity custom, with SSE reporting the highest net losses – totaling 4,491. Electric Ireland meanwhile saw a net loss of 3,446 customers and Bord Gáis Energy a net loss of 2,540.

Gas switches

The number of gas switches in the domestic gas market also increased in September, with 10,799 customers opting to switch gas suppliers. This represents a marginal increase in switching numbers from August 2014, when 10,333 customers decided to switch. However, it represents the largest number of switches in any one month since May 2013, when more than 12,250 customers switched gas supplier.

Bord Gáis Energy’s domestic gas supply service became fully deregulated in July, and the firm has recorded net customer losses in the months since. A net loss of 3,183 gas customers was recorded in September – the highest loss of any major supplier in Ireland. SSE Airtiricty lost 1,247 gas customers overall in the month, while Flogas Natural Gas also saw customer numbers drop by 664. The major benefactors from these losses were Energia and Electric Ireland, with the former noting net gains of 4,463 gas customers.

Energia has consistently gained customers since entering the market at the start of this year, while Electric Ireland also saw its figures boosted by 630 customers in September.

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