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Would increasing energy prices make you want to switch?

Six in ten Irish consumers say it would encourage them to do so

In recent weeks we’ve had price hike announcements from seven of the ten energy suppliers in the Irish market.

The first of these came into effect on 1 November, with Bord Gáis Energy putting up their gas and electricity prices, and SSE Airtricity’s electricity prices going up.

On 1 December, Energia, Pinergy, and PrePayPower are all hiking their electricity prices, while Flogas’s gas price is rising.

Electric Ireland is holding off until next year, with its electricity price rise starting from 1 February.

Will we see a spike in switching?

New research, published today by Switcher.ie, shows that six in ten consumers say that a price increase would make them switch - but we have seen in the past that often fear factors, such as not wanting to be tied into a contract, can prevent people from going through with planned switches.

Switcher.ie’s Managing Director, Eoin Clarke, says: “Energy switching levels in Ireland have remained fairly static over the past number of years but that could all be about to change.

“Most of us say we’d switch if prices went up, or if we could get a better deal elsewhere. The fact now is that the vast majority of consumers in Ireland are going to see the cost of their energy going up over the next few months. Switching energy supplier is still the quickest way to save money on your gas and electricity bills.”

What do the price rises mean for my bill?

The hikes will add up to 5.9% or €57 to the average household electricity bill and up to 3.4% or €25 to the average gas bill. This is obviously bad news for consumers at a time when temperatures are dropping and evenings are getting darker - as our bills are already rising.

On top of this, we’ve also seen an increase to the PSO Levy, which all electricity customers must pay. This went up by €25 per year from 1 October.

Can I still save money despite energy price rises?

It may seem disheartening that so many suppliers have announced price rises, but the good news is that there is still money to be saved on energy bills.

There are two ways to save on your energy bills. Firstly, make sure you are as energy-efficient as possible in your home - there are loads of simple energy-saving measures you can take around the home to reduce your consumption, which should help to cut down on your energy spend.

Secondly, make sure you’re paying the lowest rate possible for the energy you do use. Although price rises are on the way from many suppliers, there are still some heavily discounted deals on the market for switchers - at the moment, the average dual fuel customer can save up to €362 byt switching from typical standard tariffs to the cheapest deals in the market.

If you’re not free to switch yet - because you’ve already done so recently - speak to your supplier about any ongoing discounts they may offer. Switching to receiving bills online and paying by Direct Debit could net you a reduction.

Switch now