Cold snap set to push up energy bills - but switching can slash costs

With sub-zero temperatures on the way, Switcher.ie, the independent price comparison and switching service, warns that consumers could see their energy bills climbing as they crank up the heat to combat the cold snap.

The weather so far this winter has been relatively mild, but a big freeze could have a significant impact on consumers’ energy bills, especially for those on standard tariffs. The average customer on standard energy tariffs pays €2,060 on their bills every year, and with heating and lighting the home in the colder and darker months, we see the highest of these bills in winter.

However, competition between energy suppliers to attract new customers has resulted in some of the biggest discounts ever seen in the Irish energy market. This means the average customer who switches from standard tariffs to the cheapest deals out there can save up to a massive €394 per year.

Eoin Clarke, managing director of Switcher.ie, said: “With all of the weather warnings we’ve been hearing, households will be bracing themselves for a big chill over the coming days by cranking up their thermostats and spending more time at home. But pushing up the heating and spending more time indoors in front of the TV will inevitably increase the amount of energy being used in the home, and this could leave households struggling when the next bill comes in.

“As we enter this cold snap, we’d really encourage consumers to review the energy plan they are on and - if they’re no longer on a discounted tariff - see how much they can save by switching. The average consumer can save up to €394 by making a switch, while households with higher energy usage can make even bigger savings.

“We’d also encourage consumers to try to make their home heating more efficient, by sealing off any draughts and closing doors throughout the house to make sure heat is kept in the rooms where the heating is turned on. Closing curtains at night to keep the heat in, even in rooms that aren’t used, will also be a big help.

“In addition, most of the heat in a typical home is lost through the walls, so improving the insulation on the walls of your home will definitely save you money on on your energy bills in the long run. The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland’s Better Energy Homes Scheme provides grants for installing insulation in the home, and anyone whose home was built and lived in before 2006 can apply.”

Consumers can use Switcher.ie’s free gas and electricity comparison tool to see how much they can save compared to their current plan, and make a switch.

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