Tuesday 23 January 2018

Energy use down dramatically since the financial crash

The Commission for Energy Regulation has decided that from the start of next month it will assume the average household consumes 4,200kWh of electricity. Stock image
The Commission for Energy Regulation has decided that from the start of next month it will assume the average household consumes 4,200kWh of electricity. Stock image
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

Householders have cut down dramatically on the amount of electricity and gas they use since the financial crash.

New figures from the regulator show that consumption in the average home is down around 20pc since banks prompted an economic downturn almost 10 years ago.

Consumers are using energy-saving measures and have become more aware of their energy usage.

The new figures also mean the potential savings from switching supplier are down a bit.

The Commission for Energy Regulation has decided that from the start of next month it will assume the average household consumes 4,200kWh of electricity.

This means the average cost per household works out at €770, a 21pc drop from close to €950 assumed to be the electricity consumption at the moment.

Gas consumption will be assumed to be 11,000kWh, down 20pc. This means the regulator will assume average gas costs per household of €614 from August, down from €755.

The changes will have no impact on consumers, according to regulated price comparison site Switcher.ie.

But the new assumptions will mean that potential savings from switching supplier will be lower, according to Eoin Clarke of Switcher.ie.

"If consumers compared deals using national average consumption or look at sample bills based on average consumption, the potential savings and annual costs will be lower than before," he said.

Mr Clarke warned consumers not to assume they are average consumers of energy. He said most people who compare suppliers on Switcher.ie enter usage values above the average.

The new figures will mean the savings from switching electricity supplier for the typical user will now be €176, some €50 less than presently estimated.

Just 14pc of consumers switch provider every year.

Figures from the regulator show that in the first five months of this year the average number of electricity switchers was 25,000 a month.

When gas is included this rises to 35,000 switches a month.

Mark Whelan, of price comparison site Bonkers.ie, said we are third in Europe for electricity switching and second for gas.

But 85pc of consumers still do no switch, he said.

"It is good to see that many of Ireland's energy customers are taking advantage of the deregulated market and snapping up savings by switching.

"We are currently averaging over 35,000 switches per month. However, 85pc of households still aren't switching regularly and, as a result, are leaving easy money on the table."

Mr Whelan said there are now nine energy suppliers in the domestic market and competition is fierce.

Irish Independent

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