New CRU report shows majority of energy customers have never switched
But more people who do switch are using price comparison sites to do so.
The CRU has published a new paper on competition in the Irish energy market, and there are some interesting findings in it.
Majority of us haven’t switched gas or electricity
According to the CRU, 58% of electricity and 53% of gas consumers have never switched.
One key finding that could be contributing to this is that consumers seem to have a low understanding of prices and offers currently available in the market.
More consumers are switching through price comparison sites
One way to get information on the offers that are currently available - and how much you could save - is to use an accredited price comparison website, like Switcher.ie.
More and more switchers are using price comparison websites to switch energy - according to the CRU, 7% of total switches were done through price comparison websites last year, compared to just 1% in 2013.
Don’t be put off by switching fear factors
The CRU says that analysis of people who haven’t switched supplier suggests that some of them would engage in the market if the available offers and the switching process were easier to understand.
There are definitely some fear factors about switching that put people off - for example, some don’t want to get tied into a contract, or are worried about a loss in service.
However, in reality, the process is very straightforward. In fact, the CRU says that a significant proportion of those who have switched found the process very easy.
How switching energy works
In order to switch, all you need to do is visit our free, impartial gas and electricity comparison tool, and enter a few details about your current supplier and consumption.
You’ll get a results table which shows you a variety of available plans and how much you could save by switching to each one. Simply select the plan you want to go for, fill in the application form, and Switcher.ie and your new supplier will take it from there.
At the moment, the average gas and electricity customer could save up to €359 by switching from typical standard tariffs to the best deals on the market, so it’s well worth taking the time.
Switching energy FAQs
Are there limits to how many times I can change supplier?
You may change suppliers as often as you like, but your old supplier may charge for cancellation or early termination if you don’t give sufficient notice or you cancel during the minimum term.
Can I revert my decision to change energy supplier?
Under consumer protection laws you have a statutory 14-day cooling-off period. Contact your new supplier if you should change your mind during this period and you can cancel the switch free of charge.
How soon can my energy switch be completed?
The time it takes for your switch to be completed will depend on the supplier, however, it shouldn’t take any longer than 28 days. Your new supplier will coordinate the switch with your old supplier. It’s important to make sure that you are out of contract with your current supplier before you sign up with a new supplier.
How will I know that my energy switch is complete?
You should receive a welcome pack and price plan information from your new supplier.
I've decided on a new energy supplier/deal - what's next?
So, you have found a new energy deal and submitted an application form to make the switch to a new supplier.
Once your new supplier receives and confirms your application, they’ll handle the switch with your old supplier, so you don’t need to worry about that. Remember, though, that if you decide to switch while you’re still on a discounted tariff with your current supplier, you will have to pay an early exit fee.
After your switch, you’ll receive a final bill from your old supplier, which you’ll need to pay to close your account. Once this is done, you should also ensure you cancel all Direct Debits to this supplier, too.
All energy suppliers use the same network and pipes to provide energy to your home, so you won’t have any interruption in supply.
When should I cancel my Direct Debit to my current supplier?
After your switch, you’ll receive a final bill from your old supplier, which you’ll need to pay to close your account. Once this is done, you should also ensure you cancel your Direct Debit to this supplier, too.
Who cancels my account with my current supplier?
Once your new supplier receives and confirms your application, they’ll handle the switch with your old supplier, so you don’t need to worry about that. And all energy suppliers use the same network and pipes to provide energy to your home, so you won’t have any interruption in supply.
Will I experience an interruption in supply when I switch energy supplier?
Definitely not. Apart from the company that bills you being changed (and a smaller bill), nothing else will change and there won’t be an interruption in supply. Continue to use your energy as and when required.
Will there be any overlap periods where I pay twice for my gas/electric use?
Categorically no. When the switch over date is agreed, your old supplier will stop charging you on that day and your new supplier will take over. You will not be billed twice if you’ve remembered to cancel your outstanding Direct Debit.