Switch 'to stay ahead of energy price hikes'
Consumers have been urged to beat energy price hikes by switching suppliers.
New research from the energy regulator shows that householders who actively switched electricity provider over the last four years will have saved more than €1,000.
Seven suppliers announced energy price rises in the past few months, citing higher wholesale prices.
The hikes averaged 5pc for electricity and 13pc for gas, according to the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities.
Those who do not want to move supplier should at least negotiate with their current provider to get a better deal.
A family that actively switched both its electricity and gas suppliers over the last four years would have saved €1,700, it was found.
The CRU said: "Savings made through switching suppliers or negotiating with a current supplier could help customers beat the recent price increases." The regulator described switching rates by consumers last year as "robust". Some 14pc of electricity customers and 20pc of gas customers moved supplier during the year.
Last October saw an eight-year high in switching rates for gas, and November saw a seven-year high in electricity switching, the CRU said.
Rules for energy suppliers were changed recently, including measures that mean suppliers must notify a customer if they have been on the same energy tariff for three or more years. Suppliers must now also give consumers 30 days' notice before the end of a fixed-term contract.