Thursday 27 November 2014

Families can save over €200 a year on energy bills as price war heats up

Charlie Weston Personal Finance Editor

Published 02/08/2014 | 02:30

There is a price war on the cards
There is a price war on the cards

FAMILIES will be able to save over €200 a year on their energy bills as the war for new customers intensifies.

The latest round in the energy price war has been fired, with Bord Gais slashing its prices.

The company is offering a new cut-price dual fuel deal for new customers who take both electricity and gas from it, the Irish Independent has learnt.

It will mean savings of over €200 a year for families who sign up for the new deal and is the firm's response to discounts of up to €300 offered by its rival, Energia.

Householders who are members of Tesco's Clubcard scheme can get an extra €80 off their bills for the two fuels thanks to an agreement between the supermarket giant and Bord Gais.

Bord Gais Energy is offering new customers 10pc off its standard electricity rates and reducing its gas rates by the same percentage, for customers prepared to sign up for a contract of at least a year.

Customers that are already with Bord Gais Energy can also get discounts.

Existing gas customers that sign up for the new dual-fuel deal can get 10pc off the standard electricity rate, and 7pc off the standard gas rate.

Families with Bord Gais Energy for electricity only, who sign up for dual fuel, will get 10pc each off both gas and electricity tariffs.

This is the first time the company has been able to set its own gas prices since it was deregulated in July.

The latest discounts come as families were hit this week with the shock news of water bills that will be up to €278 for a family with two adults and two children.

Energia will still have the best deal for those who take both gas and electricity from it, but the new Bord Gais offers are set to put new pressure on its rivals, energy experts said.

Energy expert Simon Moynihan of price comparison site Bonkers.ie said most people have never switched from their existing supplier so the new Bord Gais Energy deals could mean real savings.

Mr Moynihan said the move would mean families that sign up for this will pay just over €2,000 a year, a saving of €200. "There is a price war going on in the energy sector. Energia has the best dual fuel offer, but now Bord Gais Energy is getting into the price war also," he said.

The company has around 350,000 residential gas customers and 290,000 electricity customers. Some 630,000 homes use gas, with two million electricity customers.

Gas customers that are already with Bord Gais Energy can apply for a 5pc discount, and existing electricity customers can also apply for a 5pc discount.

Tariff

If existing customers go dual fuel by adding gas or electricity, discounts can be increased to 10pc in certain cases, Mr Moynihan said.

However, customers should read the small print in the deals – there are conditions which may make the discount deal unattractive for some customers.

The new deals, which are due to be launched on Wednesday, require customers to sign up to a one-year or two-year contract.

All new discounted deals also require payment by 'level pay', which entails the customer paying the same amount every month by direct debit.

This monthly payment amount is calculated by looking at a household's usage for the previous year, applying the tariff and discounts to that usage and dividing it into 12 equal payments.

Irish Independent

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