Supplier switching rates for April 2020 dropped to their lowest levels in seven years according to the CRU Customer Switching Report for the Electricity and Gas Retail Markets. The drop in switching numbers is believed to be, at least in part, as a result of the COVID-19 health emergency in Ireland in March 2020.
In April 2020 there were 17,843 switches in electricity, a decrease of 25% from the 23,882 switches made in the same period in 2019. In gas, there were 6,141 switches in the month, a decrease of 38% from the 9,921 switches made in April 2019. The decreases in April follow similar decreases in switching levels in electricity and gas in March.
The CRU has emphasised that customers should actively review their energy bills and look at offers that are available from other suppliers. Customers can use one of the three accredited switching websites, www.bonkers.ie, www.powertoswitch.ie or www.switcher.ie to compare offers and switch suppliers.
Based on CRU data, active customers who switched supplier or renegotiated with their current supplier every year for the last 4 years could have saved €704 on gas, €1,097 on electricity or €1,696 on their dual fuel costs.
The CRU will be launching its annual #SwitchOn campaign in June which encourages energy customers to switch on to their savings, their rights and their safety and actively promotes the importance of switching energy suppliers or renegotiating with them to make savings.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the CRU has taken a number of measures to protect domestic customers The CRU increased the level of emergency credit for gas prepayment meters from €10 to €100 and issued a moratorium on disconnections of domestic customers for non-payment.
The April CRU Customer Switching Report for the Electricity and Gas Retail Markets reports can be found here.
Speaking about the switching figures, CRU Chairperson Aoife MacEvilly said: “It is understandable that consumers may not have been focused on some aspects of their household bills in what has been an incredibly disruptive time. However, as customers are spending more time at home, their energy consumption may be increasing so now more than ever it is important that customers look at their possible savings that they can make from either renegotiating with their current supplier for a better deal or switching supplier. As we are doing so much more online at the moment, remember that the CRU accredited switching websites allow you to find the best offers and make the switch online.”