Electric Ireland is cheapest supplier of energy to Irish market, says regulator

CRU estimates that SSE gas customers get best standard-rate deals while Flogas offers big discounts

Electric Ireland is the Republic’s cheapest power supplier while SSE Airtricity customers pay least for gas, regulators said on Thursday.

Families are paying around 40 per cent more for electricity and up to 50 per cent more for natural gas than a year ago following severe energy price hikes resulting from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Figures published by State watchdog, the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) on Thursday show that at €2,203 a-year, Electric Ireland, part of State-owned ESB, is the cheapest supplier to existing electricity customers on standard charges.

The average Irish family uses 4,200 kilo watt hours (KWH) of electricity and 11,000 KWH of natural gas a-year, said the commission.


Electric Ireland’s daytime charges are more than 42 cent a KWH – the unit in which suppliers sell energy to homes – while customers also pay network charges and VAT.

This is the CRU’s first bills comparison, so the regulator did not publish figures for what customers were paying 12 months ago.

However, at the rates Electric Ireland was charging a year ago, the average family would have paid the State company around €1,500 a-year, 40 per cent less than today.

Irish companies boosted charges last autumn after natural gas prices, which set the cost of electricity, broke records on world markets when Russian state company Gazprom cut supplies to Europe.

Flogas is the most expensive electricity supplier at standard rates, charging its household customers €2,886 a-year. That is 20 per cent more than last year’s annual total, estimated at around €2,400.

Its increase was lower as the company was already among the more expensive suppliers. While Flogas has the most expensive standard charges, its discount and smart-use rates are among the lowest.

The CRU calculates that Flogas’s discount rate charged to new customers comes to €1,801 a-year, against Electric Ireland’s €1,933. Flogas smart “time-of-use” plan is €1,670 annually while its State-owned rival’s is €1,740.

Existing household customers are paying Bord Gáis Energy €2,208 a-year, which is 30 per cent more than 12 months ago, when their annual bill would have been around €1,700.

CRU director Karen Trant acknowledged that families and employers continued to pay high energy prices.

“Switching suppliers or renegotiating with your current supplier can still deliver savings and it is important that customers ensure they are on the most suitable tariff for their needs,” she said.

The commission’s figures show SSE Airtricity is the cheapest standard natural gas supplier for existing customers, charging them €1,838 a-year.

They would have paid the same company close to €1,300 annually a year ago, around 40 per cent less.

Flogas also ranks highest in this category, billing households €2,699 annually. That is 50 per cent more than the €1,800 average that a household would have expected to pay last year.

Bord Gáis Energy charges the average family €1,882 a-year for natural gas, said the CRU, which is about 40 per cent more than 12 months ago, when the bill would have been more than €1,300.

Existing dual fuel customers – who buy gas and electricity from the same company – are also best off with Electric Ireland, paying €3,933 a-year. Flogas is the most expensive in this category, charging €5,585, the figures show.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas