Over half of Irish people are willing to give something up for a long-term benefit but just less than one fifth of people bothered to switch their gas and electricity last year according to new research*
- Those who switch electricity or gas providers save on average a minimum of €300 a year
- The CRU is calling on Irish people to Switch On to their savings, their rights and their safety as energy consumers
2nd October 2018: The Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) has revealed that despite 53% of Irish people saying in a recent survey that they are willing to step outside of their comfort zone on a regular basis, hundreds of thousands of people are failing to switch their energy providers to save money.
Half of respondents also stated that they are willing to make a change when they believe there will be benefit further down the line. While only a quarter of respondents stated that they prefer to live for today without thinking too much about what the future holds.
The CRU conducted the study as they launched the Switch On campaign today to encourage the public to Switch On to their savings, rights and safety as consumers of electricity and gas.
The October launch is designed to encourage people to Switch On to savings before they start using more energy in the colder months.
The future benefit doesn’t just have to be cash savings, environmental impact is growing in importance with Irish consumers. The latest CRU2017 Electricity and Gas Retail Markets Annual Report stated that 43% of customers would be influenced by a supplier’s capability to provide energy from renewable sources.
Speaking about the campaign, Aoife MacEvilly, Commissioner at CRU said: “Many Irish people are missing out on the opportunities to discover their rights, safety and savings when it comes to electricity and gas providers. With the average consumer saving €300 by switching provider, this small change alone can have an enormous impact for individuals and for families. At the CRU we want the Irish public to get outside their comfort zone and Switch On to the big differences switching energy providers can make in their daily lives.”
Ambassador for the Switch On campaign, Maia Dunphy said: “We all lead such busy lives particularly when the kids are back to school that it’s easy to forget that small changes can make big differences. We all take our electricity and gas for granted except when we’ve a problem, taking 5 minutes today can make any issues much easier and save a lot of time in the long-term. I always try to get out of my comfort zone, whether its dancing or writing, so I’m excited to be working with the CRU to help Irish people Switch On to their rights, safety and savings as energy consumers.”
The research also showed that when it comes to change we are our own biggest influencer (34%), with partner or spouse coming in second (26%), apart from those aged 18 – 24 who stated that friends were their second biggest influence at 20%.
In a two-year period, most respondents made a change in their daily lives; 36% stated they would change their car, 35% would change their diet and 27% would change their hairstyle in a two-year period. Reassuringly only 10% said they would change their partner in a 2-year period, with only 16% of respondents stating that they believed they would change where they live.
By changing your energy providers consumers could put the average annual €300 saving towards a new car, a gym membership, or more haircuts.
For more information on the CRU, the Switch On campaign and for Maia’s thoughts on energy savings, rights and safety www.switchon.ie.
*The research was conducted by Amárach Research and surveyed 1,000 adults in the Republic of Ireland on their views.
The CRU 2017 Electricity and Gas Retail Markets Annual Report shows that switching rates in both the electricity and gas markets are above 10%.
In 2017, the electricity switching rate was 14% and the gas switching rate was 18%. This is the highest gas switching rate recorded to date. Of total switches, 23% were dual fuel switches.
The 2017 consumer survey found low levels of repeat switching. Data suggests that of those who switched supplier in the last 12 months 65% (domestic electricity) and 50% (domestic gas) defaulted to a standard tariff when their initial discount period ended.