Consumers who switched energy supplier or renegotiated terms over the past four years could have saved thousands of euro, according to analysis by the industry’s watchdog.
The Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU), which oversees the Republic’s electricity industry, said it was “acutely aware” of the difficulties faced by many consumers this winter in the context of rising energy prices.
“While changing supplier may not be an option for all consumers, many can benefit from switching supplier or renegotiating with their current supplier,” it said.
“Based on CRU data, active customers who switched supplier or renegotiated with their current supplier every year for the past four years could have saved €704 on gas, €1,097 on electricity or €1,696 on dual fuel costs. Price comparison websites can aid a consumer to get the best deal possible.
“Independent price comparison services are an important tool for customers to compare energy suppliers with an assurance that the information is provided in an accurate, reliable, transparent and impartial manner.”
CRU chairwoman Aoife MacEvilly said: “We know that customers are worried about higher energy bills. When prices are high, it is even more important to make sure you are on the best value deal available.
“Customers can find better value, either by switching supplier or renegotiating with your current supplier. This is free, simple and quick to do. Using a price comparison website can make switching an even easier process.
“They allow customers to compare energy supplier offers and even look after the switching process for you. Switching websites accredited by the CRU are required to provide impartial and accurate information that consumers can rely on.”
The CRU has published the results of the annual independent audit of the three accredited energy price comparison websites, which operate in the Irish energy market: bonkers.ie, switcher.ie and powertoswitch.ie.
The audit results show that all three websites remain in compliance with the current accreditation framework.
The CRU said overall the findings of the audit demonstrate a “high standard of compliance” with the accreditation framework.
It should be noted that many households with lower incomes where prepaid energy meters are installed could face additional costs in switching, such as for the removal of the meter.