Energy switching reaches seven year high

Energy switching reaches seven year high
  • Number of energy customers switching suppliers in October 2018 reached the highest level recorded over the last 7 years in electricity and over the last 8 years in gas
  • CRU Publishes Q2 Electricity and Gas Retail Markets Report & Switching Figures for September and October 2018
  • Average wholesale electricity and gas prices for the first half of 2018 are higher than the average prices for 2017 and for 2016
  • Electric Ireland stay below 50% of market share in Q2 2018

 

10/12/2018: Switching rates for October jumped to the highest rates recorded over the last 7 years in electricity and over the last 8 years in gas according to the CRU’s “October 2018 Customer Switching Report for the Electricity and Gas Retail Markets”. In October 2018 there were 32,331 switches in electricity, the highest number of switches recorded since July 2011. In gas there were 12,697 switches, the highest number of switches recorded since November 2010.

While Irish energy customers are active by international comparisons, CRU research shows that they often lack the information or confidence to make the best choices. The CRU has worked to ensure energy consumers are switched on to their options when it comes to their suppliers. All suppliers must contact customers to inform them when they are coming to the end of their contract and the recent introduction of the Estimated Annual Bill makes comparing energy easier.

October saw the launch of the CRU’s Switch On campaign which encourages energy customers to switch on to their savings, their rights and their safety. This campaign promotes the importance of switching energy suppliers or renegotiating with them to try to beat the recent prices increases.

The CRU “Energy Retail Markets Annual Report for 2017” showed that active customers who switched or renegotiated every year for the last 4 years could have saved €670 on gas, €1,146 on electricity or €1,417 on their dual fuel costs.

Speaking about the report, Aoife MacEvilly, Commissioner at the CRU saidWe are delighted to report a significant increase in the number of people switching electricity and gas providers in October.  With average wholesale electricity and gas prices for the first half of 2018 higher than the average prices for 2017 and 2016, we would strongly encourage consumers to switch on to their rights and savings as consumers. The average consumer can save €300 by switching provider, this small change alone can have an enormous impact for individuals and for families. At the CRU, our aim is to inform the public on their rights as energy consumers and ensure that suppliers are acting fairly so these results point to more positive strides in consumer rights.”

The Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) also published its Electricity and Gas Retail Market Report for the second quarter of 2018. This Report is part of the CRU’s ongoing market monitoring role to ensure that the Irish customer continues to benefit from a competitive energy market. It provides insights into consumer and supplier behaviour in the Irish energy market and highlights the sustained development of the Irish retail energy sector to support greater innovation and choice for consumers.

 

Prices, Switching and Renegotiations

The total number of customers switching in electricity was 81,615 in Q2 2018. This represented an increase in switching of 2.19% from Q1 2018, where there were 79,866 switches.

The total number of customers switching in gas was 34,343 in Q2 2018. This represented a decrease in switching of 2.80% from Q1 2018, during which time there were 35,332 customer switches

The total number of internal switches/renegotiations in domestic electricity in Q2 2018 was 45,377. This is an increase of 3.19% on the Q1 2018 figure of 43,975. The total number of internal switches/renegotiations in domestic gas in Q2 2018 saw an increase of 37% at 15,493.

 

Market Share

Domestic Electricity:

At the end of Q2 2018, Electric Ireland had the largest domestic electricity market share, with 48.7% of the market in terms of consumption. This was followed by Bord Gáis Energy with 18.2%, SSE Airtricity with 14.28%, Energia with 8.71%, PrePayPower with 6.14%, Panda with 1.95% and Pinergy with 1.43%. 2017 was the first year that Electric Ireland’s share fell below 50%, and it stayed below this level in Q2 2018

 

Domestic Gas:

At the end of Q2 2018, Bord Gáis Energy had the largest market share in terms of customer numbers, with 45.91% of the domestic gas market, followed by Electric Ireland with 20.90%, SSE Airtricity with 13.78%, Energia with 7.74%, PrePayPower with 5.60% and Flogas with 4.75%. Between Q2 2017 and Q2 2018 Bord Gáis Energy lost 3.46% of market share in terms of customer numbers. PrePayPower increased its market share by 2.86%.

September and October 2018 Customer Switching Reports for the Electricity and Gas Retail Markets can be found here
Electricity and Gas Retail Market Report Q2 2018 can be found here