Competition will boost the gas supply market
THE gas supply market looks set to become the latest service sector to see significant growth in switching activity by consumers.
Like ESB, which saw the end of its monopoly on domestic electricity supply following the entry of Bord Gais and Airtricity into the market early last year, Bord Gais now has competitors in the domestic gas supply market.
Since the gas market was fully opened to competition in July 2007, Flogas has begun to offer a domestic gas supply service and will shortly be joined by Airtricity.
Flogas, which launched its switching campaign last October, says it will offer 7pc to 9pc lower prices than Bord Gais for gas. There are no costs for changing over, and you can switch again if you want after only 20 days, which is also the case for other gas and electricity suppliers.
The current cold spell and the resulting impact on domestic bills may well spark an exodus of customers from Bord Gais to its new competitors.
But even if you decide not to switch, the good news is that most homeowners are paying more than €100 less for gas than this time last year, and prices are expected to plunge even further.
Price cuts over the year saw average annual gas prices drop from €910 in October 2008 to €795 last year.
And gas bills are expected to fall further in February when an 8pc cut takes effect, taking €53 off the average bill.