How Your Energy Suppliers Try to Bribe You Into Keeping Them in Business
Most of Ireland’s energy providers set up most of their new clients by offering them the most competitive deals imaginable. But after twelve months, those best-discounted rates usually expire and you’re left with your standard rate, with no introductory discount applied. What then? You’re stuck at that rate, and if you want to switch it is expensive to do so, and there are other advantages to switching energy companies as well.
Switching energy suppliers
has long been seen as a way to enjoy a better deal on your monthly utility bill, especially if you have a multi-metered electrical meter. The reason for this is that most energy suppliers charge more when you have more than one meter fitted. For example, if you’re a property owner with three separate meters, your supplier will charge you more for any extra meter that they have to provide, even if you never use any of the extra electricity. As you can see, the cost of having different meters installed adds up quickly. It’s a great idea to start with your three main energy suppliers and transfer them to the others when you get a better deal from one of them.
Another reason why energy suppliers
often offer better prices to customers is hidden fees. These are fees that are charged to you when you sign up, whether you’re a customer or a supplier. Although most suppliers do advertise these fees, some are more honest than others. Take the usual “billed before month” stamp duty, for instance, it’s always included in the final cost of your tariff, but there’s also a special charge for letting the meter sit unused for a period of time. This extra cost may not be obvious to you, but if you know what you’re paying for, it can really add up.
One more reason why energy suppliers try to keep their prices down
is to make sure that most of the people who buy their gas and electricity are regular, happy customers. This way they’re more likely to stay with their supplier long enough to pay the large bill. The less happy ones often look for a cheaper deal elsewhere. But energy suppliers don’t want you to leave, they want you to stay. So they can increase the prices on your account and take the difference between what you currently pay and the cost of your new deal. This means that when you come to pay, you’ll probably pay more.
Hidden fees and higher than normal energy bills
mean that if you’re a regular client, it’s almost certainly better to pay your supplier and let them get richer by overcharging you. There are two ways that they can do this. They can increase your annual renewable energy certificates (RECs) or they can give you a special discount for being a customer with them. Although many suppliers offer a certain amount of financial assistance for those on regular energy bills, those who regularly pay more may qualify for other schemes to help reduce the impact of the recession on their businesses.
If you’re worried about energy prices
then talk to your supplier about alternative energy deals that may be more affordable than your existing tariffs. Find out from your supplier if they offer any voluntary deals with green energy providers to encourage customers to switch to green energy. Another good way to save money on your bills is to make your meter and electric system more energy efficient. This will also help your customers to pay less because the longer they spend using the energy-efficient equipment, the less they’ll pay – and as they’ll also save on their bills.