Energy tariff ending? What you need to know
What happens when your fixed or discounted energy plan comes to an end?
Taking advantage of discounts on energy tariffs is the best way to save money on your energy bills. However, it’s important to remember that discounted tariffs are always for a limited time - usually 12 months - after which you will revert to the standard rate, which will be much more expensive.
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How to check when your discounted tariff is ending
The general rule of thumb is that, if you switched more than 12 months ago, you’ll have reverted to the standard rate by now. If you’re not sure when you last switched - or whether or not you’re still on a discounted tariff - your latest energy bill can help.
If you’re still within the discount period, you’ll either see a discounted unit rate listed on your bill, or your discount will be clearly deducted at the end of your bill (depending on the supplier you’re with).
If you can’t see a reference to a discount on your bill, the chances are your discount is over, but if you’re not 100% sure, you can always contact your supplier to check this.
This may seem like a lot of work, and it’s something the CRU is trying to rectify. The regulator has introduced a requirement for suppliers provide their customers with 30 days’ notice before their discount ends, as well as issuing an Annual Prompt to anyone who has been on the same tariff for 3 years or more. So if you receive either of these notifications, you should be thinking about switching.
Can energy companies charge exit fees?
Yes, energy suppliers can and do charge early exit fees if you leave your contract before the minimum period (usually 12 months) is up. Most energy suppliers charge an early exit fee of €50 per fuel, so you’ll end up paying €100 if you’re a dual fuel customer and you cancel early.
When can I switch energy supplier without penalty?
Once you’re out of your contract’s ‘minimum term’ - which is normally 12 months - you are free to switch energy supplier without penalty, and you should definitely do so. It’s the easiest way to cut down on your energy bills, with savings of up to €369 available for a typical dual fuel customer switching from standard tariffs to the cheapest deals on the market.
How long does it take to switch energy companies?
There’s a misconception out there that switching energy supplier is a lot of hassle. In fact, it’s really straightforward - all in all, it takes about 10 minutes, and it could save you hundreds of euro.
How do I switch plans?
To get started with your switch, head to Switcher.ie’s free, impartial gas and electricity comparison. In order to accurately compare deals, you’ll need copies of your most recent gas or electricity bill - or both if you’re a dual fuel customer.
Once you enter in information on your current supplier, and your consumption information, you’ll then get a list of deals available to you. Choose the one that suits you best and click on ‘Switch now’.
At that point, you’ll need your Gas Point Reference Number(GPRN) and/or Meter Point Reference Number (MPRN), as well as a current gas and/or electricity meter reading - so your old supplier can provide you with a final bill and your new supplier can start from that point.
Switcher.ie and your new supplier will handle the full switch, and all suppliers use the same pipes and cables to supply energy to your home, so you don’t need to worry about any loss in service.