Revealed: Record number of householders switch gas supplier to get better value
A record number of householders switched gas supplier last year, but more consumers have been urged to make the move to a better-value provider.
The total who changed supplier since the market opened up is heading for the one million mark, according to Gas Networks Ireland, the State body that owns and operates the natural gas network in Ireland.
Ireland has the highest switching rate in Europe. But consumer advocates said more people should switch, given the flurry of recent price rises.
During the summer, gas price rises were announced by SSE Airtricity, Electric Ireland, Energia, Panda Power, Pinergy, Flogas and Bord Gáis Energy. In the past two weeks a second gas price rise was announced by Flogas and Panda Power.
Some gas customers will see their bills rise by as much as €150 over a year, due to the two price increases.
Gas Networks Ireland has confirmed that the last 12 months were the busiest on record for natural-gas customers switching gas suppliers.
More than 135,000 people switched gas supplier in the last 12 months.
This is up from the previous record of 125,000 achieved in 2011.
The total number of switches which have taken place in the Irish energy market is now more than 970,000 since the market opened up to competition in 2007.
It is likely that the one million switch mark will be hit before the end of the year.
Head of regulatory affairs at Gas Networks Ireland Brian Mullins said: "Our switching figures for gas are among the best in Europe. We are delighted that last year was a record year for switching. These record figures clearly reflect the Irish consumers' wish for greater savings."
He said that despite Ireland having a relatively small market, a significant number of new suppliers had entered in recent years.