Householders ‘missing out on savings of up to €2,000 a year on energy bills’

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Irish householders are missing out on savings of up to €2,000 per year by failing to switch energy providers, a survey suggests.

Those living in bungalows or detached homes across Ireland can benefit most by trading in their current supplier for a new one, according to the survey.

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The index shows the gap between the cheapest and most expensive plans on the market — with a €2,000 annual difference between some dual-fuel plans for these house types.

For semi-detached homes, the index reveals savings of 800 euro for dual-fuel customers and €620 for apartment or terraced house residents.

“Based on average consumption, the index clearly shows that many Irish households can potentially slice €2,000 off their bills from a premium annual cost of €5,000 to a net cost of €3,000 with the cheapest provider,” Brendan Halpin, chief executive of WeSwitchU.ie, said.

“There is huge inertia out there when it comes to switching providers but when you remove the obstacles and the perceived ‘hassle’, it could save people the cost of a family holiday in Ireland every year.”

Research from the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) shows that half of Irish households have never switched energy supplier.

Based on Central Statistics Office (CSO) Census 2016 figures of almost 1.7 million households in Ireland, 850,000 households nationwide are potentially losing out.

The most recent CRU national data also shows a drop in switching rates for 2020.

Only one in seven change providers every year, and 65 per cent of those forget to do so in year two.

Typical behaviour is to automatically continue with the existing supplier when a contract expires.

The survey also looked at electricity costs alone and potential savings amount to €420  for those living in Ireland’s standard three-bed semi-detached.

Annual bills range from a high of €1,200 to €780, based on 4,200kwh — the average annual electricity used in medium-sized homes.

The savings increase to €760 for those living in bungalows and detached homes and €356 a year for apartment and terraced home residents who typically use less electricity.

“Based on the maximum potential savings per year, customers have the power to put €166 every month back in their pockets,” Mr Halpin added.

“Those who make the switch themselves benefit from the savings in their first year but need to look at the market again after that time to keep up the momentum.”

The savings are based on CSO and SEAI data for annual average electricity and gas usage across various house types.

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