Cheapest Electricity in Ireland: Calculate & Compare

A piggy bank next to a building with an electricity symbol, and several piles of coins

With so many deals and tariffs available, it can be hard to see which electricity supplier has the cheapest electricity in Ireland. We’ve dug down deep and analysed all electricity suppliers to come up with some answers.

Read on and find out more about who the current electricity suppliers in Ireland are, what goes into calculating an electricity tariff, and the current cheapest electricity deals. 


Electricity suppliers Ireland

There are currently eleven residential electricity suppliers in Ireland, as of November 2019.

  1. BEenergy
  2. Bord Gáis Energy
  3. Electric Ireland
  4. Energia
  5. Glowpower
  6. Iberdrola
  7. Just Energy
  8. Panda Power
  9. Pinergy
  10. PrePayPower
  11. SSE Airtricity

Of these eleven, Just Energy announced in May 2019 that it would be closing down operations in Ireland, which in theory would decrease the number of electricity suppliers in Ireland to ten, and diminish competition in the electricity market.

However, in November 2019 it was announced that Flogas, who previously supplied residential gas and LPG, had struck a deal to acquire all of Just Energy’s customers. The transfer is expected to be completed before the end of 2020 and will maintain the number of Irish electricity suppliers at eleven.

Of the eleven electricity suppliers, once Flogas has joined the residential electricity market, eight will be dual-fuel (BEenergy, Bord Gáis Energy, Electric Ireland, Energia, Iberdrola, Panda Power, PrePayPower, and SSE Airtricity).

The energy providers Electric Ireland, Pinergy and PrePayPower are the only ones to currently offer opt-in prepaid electricity (PAYG). Other companies will only offer PAYG when customers are experiencing difficulties paying their electricity bills or have built up debt from previous unpaid bills.

With Flogas emerging as a new dual-fuel and electricity contender, as well as Iberdrola launching gas and a dual-fuel offering in October, it could be hoped that the increase in competition will drive electricity prices down and enable cheaper electricity rates for Irish energy consumers.

While it still seems quite far off, the completion of the Celtic Interconnector in 2026 should also reduce Ireland’s expensive electricity bills by lowering the production costs and charges of our electricity, as well as increasing competition.


How are electricity bills calculated in Ireland?

A calculator on top of several bills

There are several factors that go into calculating an electricity bill, and unfortunately for the customer, all the electricity jargon can make understanding your bill and comparing deals just that bit more difficult. 

We’ll narrow it down here to the only items of relevance in checking your bills and rates to make it easier for you to compare electricity deals and understand what is really on offer.

1) Unit rate/unit price

The unit rate, also labelled as the unit price on bills, is the amount of money you pay per unit of electricity. It’s important to be clear on what your standard unit rate is so you can better understand how discounts or increases affect it.

2) KWh/unit usage

The unit rate is then multiplied by the unit usage, or kWh (kilowatt-hours) used.

3) Standing charge

The standing charge is a set amount that energy suppliers charge with each billing cycle to cover network maintenance and connection charges. In theory, they should be the same for each supplier, but in practice, they differ. 

Each supplier has four different levels of standing charge, ranging from urban 24-hour, urban Nightsaver, rural 24-hour and rural Nightsaver. The urban 24-hour standing charge is the cheapest and is often the base for quotes from an energy company, so it pays to check and see which charge you would actually be on if you switched.

You can check any previous electricity bill you’ve received for the property you are currently living in. Under your MPRN you should see a letter and number combination. If it’s “DG1”, then your meter has been designated an urban meter, while “DG2” indicates a rural one.

4) PSO levy

The PSO levy is a charge determined by the government and added to all electricity bills. The purpose of the PSO levy is to subsidize development, maintenance and research into renewable and indigenous sources of electricity.

The PSO levy was changed to €3.22 per month including VAT from October 2019. This adds up to roughly €38.64 a year, although you’ll usually see it as a €6.44 charge on bimonthly electricity bills.

5) VAT

VAT is added to electricity bills at a rate of 13.5% in Ireland. When comparing offerings from different electricity suppliers, it’s best to remember to check if the VAT has already been included in the offer.

6) Percentage discount

Many electricity suppliers offer a discount off electricity rates. This discount is only applied to the unit rate before VAT, not the entire bill. 

7) Cashback or credit

Sometimes Irish electricity suppliers offer several similar plans, some with discounts and some with cashback or credit. If cashback is offered then it is usually applied over a series of months against the entire amount of the bill after VAT. Always check the terms and conditions or clarify in writing with the provider how the cashback or credit will be applied to your bills. For electricity customers with a high average usage of electricity, offers with discounts will usually result in greater savings than offers with cahback, and vice versa for customers with a lower electricity usage.


Calculate your bill and compare the cheapest offers

The Selectra logo, a blue square outline with an orange tick in front

Armed with the information above, you should now be able to understand and compare offers. Get out a calculator or use your phone and run the numbers. You can either use your individual households yearly usage in kWh (if you have the last twelve bills) or the national yearly average of 4,200 kWh in order to work out bills.

For percentage discount plans, take away the discount on the unit rate before VAT and then multiply by 4,200. Add on the yearly standing charge without VAT, and then add 13.5% VAT, as well as the PSO levy. 

For cashback or credit plans, you simply multiply the unit rate by 4,200 and add the standing charge without VAT. Then add 13.5% onto the total, and finally the PSO levy of 38.64.

The calculations above will give you your annual bill on any tariff. The only exception is for PAYG customers who will have to add on an additional PAYG standing charge. If it all sounds like too much hassle to you, don’t worry, we’ve crunched the numbers so you can see how much rates work out to and which ones are currently the cheapest.


Compare electricity supplier rates

So, who is Ireland’s cheapest electricity provider? Unfortunately, the answer is not a straightforward one. Suppliers can change rates several times a year and rarely all at the same time, increases which are usually driven by increased costs in sourcing electricity. 

This means that the cheapest electricity supplier this month could just be the cheapest because it is the last one to put up its prices. 

In any case, we have analysed all the current rates available to bring you the cheapest electricity rates as of 8th November 2019. See the table below for the cheapest electricity-only deals per supplier. Keep in mind that if your home is connected to the natural gas grid it may also be more cost-effective for you to compare dual-fuel deals.

All calculations have been based on an urban 24-hour tariff and 4,200kWh of annual usage. You will also usually need to sign up for paperless billing and Direct Debit in order to take full advantage of any available discounts.

The cheapest electricity-only tariffs

Supplier

Best tariff

Annual bill

BEenergy

Budget Bonus

€856.86

Bord Gáis Energy

25% Discount

€871.24

Electric Ireland

SuperSaver

€837.39

Energia

30% Discount

€886.85

Glowpower

25% Discount Everyday

€863.12

Iberdrola

Green 23

€850.92

Just Energy

Rate Saver

€959.21

Panda Power

25% Discount

€928.53

Pinergy

Standard

€1,220.50

PrePayPower

Standard

€1,197.88

SSE Airtricity

1 Year Electricity 30

€843.96

Last updated: November 8th 2019

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