Your guide to prepay electricity
If you’re considering switching to a prepay electricity deal - or just want to find out more about them - we’re here to help.
What is prepay electricity?
Prepay electricity is an alternative to being billed for your energy, and may suit your needs better.
It involves pay-as-you-go (PAYG) electricity that is used and paid for at the same time.
Who provides prepay electricity in Ireland?
Some suppliers specialise in prepay electricity and others offer it in addition to more traditional billed energy. You can get prepay energy from these suppliers:
How does prepay electricity work?
Unlike the standard billed method of paying for electricity where payment is usually made bi-monthly or monthly, a PAYG meter requires topping up before energy is used.
Monitor and control what you spend on your energy, and only pay for what you can afford.
Not all prepay electricity costs the same. Unit rates vary amongst suppliers, and to find the best deal, you need to compare the suppliers and plans available.
Is prepay electricity more expensive than a standard electricity plan?
Generally, PAYG electricity is more expensive than standard electricity - but there are some benefits to it, that could outweigh the cost difference, for example:
- More direct control of your electricity costs
- No electricity bills, or estimated bills
- Easy, hassle-free top up service
- No disconnection or reconnection worries
Who is the cheapest prepay electricity supplier on average?
Below is a table of the cheapest PAYG electricity tariffs available based on the national average consumption.
According to the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU), the average Irish household uses 4,200 kW/h of electricity a year.
|PrePay Power||Pay Upfront||€1,051||Compare now|
|Electric Ireland||Smarter Pay As You Go||€1,150||Compare now|
Other costs involved with prepay electricity deals
As well as the difference in unit rates, there are other costs associated with PAYG electricity, for example:
- Meter installation fees: the cost of installing a prepayment meter.
- Prepayment service charges: an annual fixed cost in addition to top up payments.
Concerns about prepay electricity
Prepaid meters used to require topping up at all hours of the day, however modern meters are much more convenient to use - they work much like topping up mobile phone credit.
Suppliers who offer prepay electricity services, guarantee not to cut you off at night, at weekends, or during the main public holidays.
Any funds needed to pay for electricity for these periods can be added at a later date.
Switching PAYG supplier is straightforward
Switching energy supplier is a very simple process. It’s good to have a rough idea of your typical energy usage to help you to find the cheapest and best suited PAYG tariffs for your needs.
After you apply to switch tariffs, your existing supplier will be contacted by your new supplier to process your switch - your new supplier will handle all aspects of the change over.
Which electricity supplier is cheapest in Ireland?
If you’re not convinced about prepay electricity and just want to go with the cheapest billed plan out there, the chances are you will make much bigger savings.
At the moment, the average electricity customer can save up to €302 by switching from a typical standard plan to the cheapest deal on the market.
Find out more about comparing electricity prices and cutting your costs in our guide.