You are entitled to prompt, regular and accurate bills from your supplier. There are a number of factors that make up your final energy bill. We have set out brief explanations of electricity and gas bills below. There is also useful information about getting a better deal and what to do if you are experiencing difficulty paying your bills.

Electricity Bills

Most customers receive an electricity bill from their supplier once every two months. The CRU have put in place certain requirements for what suppliers must include on your bill in order to make it as clear and easy to understand as possible. They are also required to include other important information including about safety, environmental information and making a complaint.

We recognise that many customers find it difficult to understand their electricity bill. For that reason we have a copy of a sample bill below with some of the key pieces of information included on your bill explained. We also have some additional information below the sample bill to explain some of the other items you will find on your electricity bill.

It is important to note that not all suppliers’ bills will have the information in the exact same place as the sample bill.

Other Information on Your Electricity Bill

Below is a brief explanation of some of the other pieces of information you will find on your electricity bill.

Standing Charges: this charge is applied for each day of the billing period. A billing period is generally about two months or 60 days, however this can vary in certain circumstances.

Usage Charges: Your usage is calculated using your meter readings. The difference between your current read and your previous read shows the amount of electricity units that you have used. The supplier multiplies this by your tariff to calculate the charges on your bill. If you would like to find out more about meter reading, please visit the Your Meter page on our website.

Other Charges: From time to time there may be other charges applicable to your bill. This may relate to items such as site works charges undertaken at you property by ESB Networks. If you are unclear about any charge, you should contact your supplier.

PSO Levy: The Public Service Obligation (PSO) levy is imposed by the Government on all final electricity customers and it is designed to recover the additional costs associated with electricity from specified sources of generation, including sustainable, renewable and indigenous sources

VAT: Value Added Tax is added to the costs of your bill at a rate of 13.5%.

Supplier Contact Details: Your supplier’s contact details will be on the bill. If you have any questions about your bill or if you are experiencing any payment difficulties, you should contact your supplier. Your supplier should be able to help you with any issues you are experiencing.

Complaints Handling Information: The bill will include a brief description of your supplier’s complaints handling procedure and related contact details. It will also highlight your right to bring any unresolved complaint to the CRU. For more information on how to log a complaint with the CRU, visit our Make A Complaint page

Natural Gas Bills

Most customers receive a gas bill from their supplier once every two months. The CRU have put in place certain requirements for what suppliers must include on your bill in order to make it as clear and easy to understand as possible. They are also required to include other important information including about safety, customer service and making a complaint.

We recognise that many customers find it difficult to understand their gas bill. For that reason we have a copy of a sample bill below with some of the key pieces of information included on your bill explained. We also have some additional information below the sample bill to explain some of the other items you will find on your gas bill.

It is important to note that not all suppliers’ bills will have the information in the exact same place as the sample bill.

Other Information on Your Gas Bill

Below is a brief explanation of some of the other pieces of information you will find on your gas bill.

Standing Charges: this charge is applied for each day of the billing period. A billing period is generally about two months or 60 days, however this can vary in certain circumstances.

Usage Charges: Your usage is calculated using your meter readings. The difference between your current read and your previous read shows the amount of gas you used in cubic meters (m3). This is multiplied by the conversion factor (see explanation below) to calculate the amount of energy used in kilowatt hours (kWh). This number is multiplied by the gas unit rate to calculate the usage charge on your bill.

Conversion Factor: The conversion factor is used to convert the volume of gas used (m3) into the energy value of the gas (kWh). The conversion factor changes based on the energy content of the gas in the network. The energy content of gas may change depend on where it comes from, this is why there may be differences in the conversion factor from bill to bill. Gas Networks Ireland are responsible for calculating the conversion factor and they pass this information on to suppliers who use it when calculating customer bills.

Other Charges: From time to time there may be other charges applicable to your bill. This may relate to items such as site works charges undertaken at you property by Gas Networks Ireland. If you are unclear about any charge, you should contact your supplier.

Carbon Tax: The Carbon Tax was introduced in May 2010 and applies to all supplies of natural gas to customers.

VAT: Value Added Tax is added to the costs of your bill at a rate of 13.5%.

Supplier Contact Details: Your supplier’s contact details will be on the bill. If you have any questions about your bill or if you are experiencing any payment difficulties, you should contact your supplier. Your supplier should be able to help you with any issues you are experiencing.

Complaints Handling Information: The bill will include a brief description of your supplier’s complaints handling procedure and related contact details. It will also highlight your right to bring any unresolved complaint to the CRU. For more information on how to log a complaint with the CRU, visit the Make a Complaint section of our website. 

PAYG/Prepay Statements

If you have a Pay As You Go (PAYG) meter or a budget controller (which is sometimes called a prepay meter), you will not receive a bill every two months like most customers.

Customers on PAYG meters or budget controllers will receive statements from their supplier at least once a year. This statement contains much of the same information included in a customer bill and provides useful information about how much energy the customer has used.

Where a customer is repaying a debt they will receive a statement from the supplier at least three times a year. The statement will show the level of consumption, debt outstanding, debt repaid and payments made.

How to Get a Better Deal

Thanks to the introduction of competition, there are lots of suppliers in the electricity and natural gas markets. Switching energy supplier is free and easy to do. Better still, switching energy supplier can save you money.

If you are considering switching supplier, then we have useful information on switching and about how to use accredited price comparison websites to get the best deals. To find out more about how to get the best deal for you, visit our Switching Supplier page.

Having Difficulty Paying Your Bills

Many customers experience difficulty paying their bills at one time or another. If you are experiencing difficulties for any reason, you should contact your supplier as soon as possible.

For customers that are having difficulties paying their bills we have structures in place to assist customers get back on track. Disconnection may only occur as a last resort for customers with financial difficulties.

We require suppliers to have trained staff in place, who will deal with your case sympathetically.  Suppliers must arrange practical payment plans to assist customers who have built up arrears. Any repayment arrangements must take into account the customer’s circumstances and must be reasonable and affordable.

Support Agencies

If you are experiencing financial difficulties, there are a number of organisations that may be able to assist you.

The Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) is the State’s money advice service, guiding people through dealing with problem debt. If you have problem debt, or if you feel like  your debts are in danger of becoming a problem, then they can help you. MABS runs a Helpline (0761 07 2000, Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) and also operates from more than 60 locations nationwide. To find out more about MABS, visit their website.  

As part of the Household Benefits Package, some customers may be entitled to support for paying their electricity or gas bills. The allowance is paid either as a monthly credit on a customer's bill or directly to the customer. To find more details in relation to the Household Benefits Package, including whether you qualify, please visit the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection website.

 

How to Use Less Energy

By being energy efficient you can save money on your electricity and gas bills. The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) are there to help every energy customer with improving their energy efficiency.

SEAI also offer home energy grants that can cover part of the cost of making your home more comfortable and energy efficient. SEAI grants are available for a range of measures, including attic and wall insulation, heating system upgrades and solar heating.

You can get more information on how you can improve your energy efficiency as well as finding information on the grants available by visiting the SEAI website.

Contact Us

We know that bills can be confusing. We are here to help you, so if you have questions about any of the items mentioned on this page, please feel free to contact the CRU’s Customer Care Team.

To see the different ways to contact us, to find out how, visit the Customer Care Team page.