How to switch electricity & gas in Ireland
Switching to a cheaper electricity or gas plan is quick and easy and could save you hundreds of euro. Here’s how to find a better deal and switch your supplier.
Why switch to a new energy supplier?
If you haven’t changed your energy provider in over a year, it’s likely you’ll save money when you switch.
Most gas and electricity suppliers offer big discounts to new customers for the first 12 months. However, when this discount period ends, you’ll pay the standard rate, which is often much higher.
Switching is easy, and a customer moving from a standard tariff to a cheaper deal could save up to €589 - which can be especially helpful during colder winter months and when energy bills are at record highs.
Are you free to switch?
If you switched more than 12 months ago, it is likely you’re on a standard rate, out of contract and free to switch.
To make sure, check your bill or online account to find the name of your tariff. If you’re unsure, you can always contact your energy provider to find out.
How much could you save?
It depends on how closely your usage matches with the average Irish household but based on the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) figures, you could expect to save:
In addition to discounts, some suppliers also offer other incentives to new customers, such as welcome credit or vouchers.
Learn more about average gas and electricity usage and bills in our guide What is the average gas and electricity bill in Ireland?
Find the cheapest electricity & gas plans
We guide you through the switch, so it’s easy to start saving on your energy bills.
How to switch
For a quick and easy switch, complete the online form using Switcher.ie’s free, impartial gas and electricity comparison tool and simply follow these steps:
- Tell us about your current energy plan & the tariff type you want
- We’ll select the cheapest plans and best suppliers
- Choose your new plan & check the plan information
- Provide your details and confirm your switch
- Your new supplier will contact you and do the rest
What happens after you’ve switched?
You should receive a welcome pack and price plan information from your new supplier. They will also be in touch by email to update you on progress.
How long will the switch take?
It usually takes around 14 days for your switch to be carried out.
The completion time depends on your old and new suppliers; however, it shouldn’t take any longer than 28 days.
Do you need to contact your supplier?
No, once your new supplier receives and confirms your application, they’ll handle the switch with your old supplier, so you don’t need to contact them.
After your switch, you’ll receive a final bill from your old supplier, which you’ll need to pay to close your account.
Do you cancel Direct Debit to your old supplier?
Yes, after your switch, you’ll receive a final bill from your old supplier, which you’ll need to pay to close your account. Once you’ve closed your account you can cancel your Direct Debit to your old supplier.
Will there be an interruption to supply?
No, all energy suppliers use the same network and pipes to provide energy to your home, so you won’t have any interruption in supply.
Apart from receiving your bills from another supplier and a smaller bill, nothing else will change.
What if you change you mind?
Under consumer protection laws, you have a statutory 14-day cooling-off period. If you change your mind during this time you’ll need to contact your new supplier and they’ll cancel the switch free of charge.
When should you switch supplier?
The best time to switch is when you’re coming to the end of your discounted plan or, if you’re on a standard plan, as soon as you find a cheaper tariff.
Plans normally last 12 months, and there are usually cancellation fees to pay if you leave your contract early.
What are early cancellation fees?
Early exit fees, also known as termination fees, are often added as a condition of cheaper fixed-rate energy tariffs or discounted deals.
It means you have to pay a charge for leaving your supplier early. These charges are applied to discourage you from switching to another supplier in the middle of your contract.
Will you have to pay an early exit fee?
If your contract term has ended, which is normally after 12 months, you’re free to switch energy providers without penalty. However, if you leave your contract before the term is up, you’ll be charged an early exit fee.
Most energy suppliers charge an early exit fee of €50 per fuel, so you could pay €100 if you’re a dual fuel customer and you break your contract.
Can you switch if you’re in debt to your supplier?
If there are arrears on your account of over €225 your supplier will notify your new supplier of the debt by placing a debt flag on your account.
A new supplier may reject your switch if there is a debt flag so settle any debt to your supplier before switching.
Can you still receive government grants and credits if you switch?
Yes, if you’re receiving the fuel allowance or another government grant, just contact the department of social protection to let them know you’ve switched.
You won’t miss out on the government’s one-off electricity credit either if you switch plans. Your old supplier can apply it to your closing bill or pay it into your bank account, so you won’t lose a penny of support.
What if your supplier hikes prices?
Most energy tariffs in Ireland are ‘variable tariffs’, meaning that fuel prices can rise or fall during the contract.
If your supplier has made a significant price hike, and you’re still in contract, it might work out cheaper to pay the exit fee and switch to a cheaper plan.
If you decide to make the switch, factor the exit fee into any calculations you make when you’re comparing plans.
What exit fee does each supplier charge?
|Supplier||Exit fee (single fuel)||Exit fee (dual fuel)|
|Bord Gais Energy||€50||€50|
|Pinergy||€11.25 pm for remaining term||-|
|PrepayPower||Meter removal plus other charges|
Will you still receive future price decreases if you switch?
if you are on a variable rate and switch before any supplier discounts come into effect, you will get the decreased price when it kicks in. You’ll see it come through on your bill on the affective date.
Switching your supplier as a tenant
If you’re living in rented accommodation and responsible for utility bills, it’s likely you can switch suppliers.
If you pay directly for gas or electricity, you’re free to switch to a better deal when you choose.
You won’t be able to switch if you pay your landlord for the gas and electricity you use or if it’s part of your monthly rent. This is because the energy account needs to be in your name.
However, you could carry out an energy comparison to find a better deal and ask if they’ll switch on your behalf.
What if you have a prepayment meter?
It’s more difficult to switch if your landlord has a prepayment meter installed. These protect the landlord against unpaid energy bills or arrears linked to the property but could mean higher bills for you.
If you don’t want a prepayment meter, talk to your landlord and see if he’ll let you have the prepayment meter removed by the supplier. Bear in mind there may be a charge for this.
Switching your supplier FAQs
Could I end up paying twice for my energy use?
No, when the switching date is agreed, your old supplier will stop charging you the day your new supplier takes over.
You won’t be billed twice but remember to cancel your Direct Debit to your old supplier if you have one set up.
Is there a limit to how many times I can switch?
No, you can change suppliers as often as you like, but your old supplier may charge for cancellation or early termination if you leave during the minimum term.