'It makes you very conscious of turning things off'
When a bill for €480 landed last January, Declan Murphy decided he was going to switch to prepaid electricity.
Having also spent €1,000 on oil for his heating that month, he decided he had to take action against high fuel bills.
"After the very cold winter, my energy costs seemed to have gone through the roof so I decided enough was enough," he said.
He'd heard of Pinergy through advertising so
got its metered prepay system into his Enniskerry home.
He purchases credit regularly from a nearby Centra and enters the validation code into the wall meter in his hallway, though there's also now an option to purchase credit online.
The meter allows him monitor how much credit he has left and also how much electricity he's using at the current time and over recent days.
"You can see at a glance if you're using more than you should be and it does make you very conscious of turning things off," he says.
"For example, recently I noticed the usage was very high as I was leaving the house, so I checked around and found there were downlighters on in my daughter's room that were using up loads of power.
"Before I had this, those lights might have been on all day," he said.
Also when you saw how much electricity the dryer devoured it was an incentive to dry stuff on the line if possible, he said.
His electricity costs for March to April, which were very cold months this year, had come in at about €290, compared with the €480 for his December to January bill.
Declan said he'd also got prepaid electricity installed in an apartment he rents out and it made it much easier to manage.