News Charlie Weston

Wednesday 24 September 2014

Easier than you think to change – just ask those 45,000 who signed up

Published 25/03/2014 | 02:30

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CONSUMERS are reluctant to switch energy providers, despite the ease of the process and the savings that can be made.

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The National Consumer Agency (NCA) has repeatedly come up with research showing that the majority of people have never moved supplier to get a better deal on electricity or gas prices.

And half of those who have not switched have not even checked out if they can save money.

The NCA research found that those who have gone to the trouble of switching get a better deal.

The launch of the One Big Switch campaign may, just may, change that by finally getting us turned on to switching suppliers.

One Big Switch is a joint venture with a similar Australian company which has signed up half-a-million consumers there in the past year, and now offers discount rates for energy, health insurance and even mortgages.

It has now signed a deal with Bord Gais for a 10pc discount on the standard electricity tariff, and €80 cashback after a year.

Around 45,000 people have already registered for the offer.

The company is in it for the money.

It gets paid for everyone it signs up to the Bord Gais network.

Bord Gais will be hoping to get thousands more electricity customers on top of the 300,000 it already has. If it gets just 20,000 new clients, that will give it additional revenues of €20m.

But the real winners here could be Irish consumers, if more people are prompted to discard their inertia and consider moving energy supplier as a result of the new initiative.

And swapping electricity supplier is perhaps one of the easiest switches to make. All you need is your Meter Point Reference Number (MPRN) and your bank details at hand to change provider.

With property tax a reality and water charges on the way, it makes sense for householders to put time aside to see if they can do a better deal than the one they have, whether that is through One Big Switch or not.

We consumers will only gain if we start doing many, many little switches.

Irish Independent

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