With more than 12 electricity providers in Ireland, you’ve got plenty of options to choose from. So which is the best electricity supplier? Which electricity suppliers also provide gas? We analyse all of Ireland’s suppliers so that you can better decide which is the best choice for your home.
Electricity suppliers in Ireland: A brief history
Before the electricity market opened to full competition in 2005, ESB was the sole electricity provider in Ireland. As such, you could say that Ireland is light years behind when it comes to developing competition between electricity suppliers when compared with our neighbours in the UK, who deregulated much sooner.
Let's have a look at when different electricity providers entered the market in Ireland.
- 2005 - The electricity market opens to competition.
- 2008 - SSE Airtricity enters the domestic electricity market.
- 2009 - Bord Gáis Energy enters the domestic electricity market.
- 2011 - The domestic elecricity market is deregulated.
- 2012 - PrePayPower enters the electricity market. The retail arm of ESB rebrands as Electric Ireland.
- 2013 - Pinergy enters the domestic electricity market.
- 2014 - Energia enters the domestic electricity market.
- 2015 - Panda Power enters the domestic electricity market.
- 2017 - BE Energy and Just Energy launch in the electricity market.
- 2018 - Flogas enters Irish electricity market.
- 2019 - Iberdrola, Glowpower & Community Power enter the electricity market. Flogas acquires Just Energy.
- 2020 - Bright Energy launches in July. Flogas acquires BE Energy.
It was hoped that making the market more competitive would lower our expensive electricity rates, but due to a combination of factors affecting Irish energy prices, it hasn’t really worked out that way.
In the graph below, you can see the average electricity price in Ireland compared to the rest of the EU in the second half of 2020, according to the Eurostat. Prices are expressed in euros per kWh. All prices are inclusive of taxes, levies and VAT.
How many electricity suppliers are there in Ireland?
At present, there are 13 electricity providers in Ireland. Of these electricity suppliers, eight of them also supply gas. For the second quarter of 2019, the CRU reported the electricity market shares as follows:
The original electricity supplier, now Electric Ireland, has managed to retain a strong market share. It has also edged its way into the gas market.
Renewable electricity suppliers in Ireland
One point of confusion that often arises is that your electricity is being bought directly from the supplier. Thus, if your supplier says they provide 100% renewable electricity, then you can think that’s what you’re getting at your house. This is incorrect, however. All electricity generated goes into one big pot that is shared by everyone.
While all energy goes into the same grid, electricity suppliers that are 100% renewable have sourced and paid for renewable electricity only. This is a good thing because it ensures demand for renewable electricity and drives cash towards generating it.
100% renewable electricity providers in Ireland include the following:
- Panda Power
- SSE Airtricity
Which electricity suppliers also provide gas?
Electricity suppliers that also provide gas are known as dual fuel suppliers. Just because these suppliers provider both fuels doesn't mean you have to contract both — you can also choose to contract just a single fuel.
If your household has both gas and electricity, we recommend going with a dual fuel supplier for your energy. This will make it easier for you to manage your energy. Some suppliers even offer dual fuel discounts, which allow to save more than you would if you contracted your gas and electricity with separate suppliers.
In the table below, we break down which electricity providers are also dual fuel providers. We also examine the offers for Pay As You Go (PAYG).
|Supplier||Dual Fuel||Single Fuel||Dual PAYG||Single PAYG|
|Bord Gáis Energy|
Who is the best electricity supplier in Ireland?
When deciding who is the best electricity supplier supplier for your home, there are a few different factors that you may want to consider. Before starting to compare plans, we recommend you establish your priorities in order to find the best electricity provider to suit your needs.
Let's have a look at some of the main factors you should consider when switching electricity providers. While some of them seem obvious, others (that are just as important) can be easily forgotten. For more insight, you can also head to our guide on how to compare electricity suppliers.
- Cost — Is it the cheapest electricity or gas offer on the market?
- Customer service — Does the gas or electricity supplier provide high quality customer support?
- Energy sources — Does the electricity supplier get its energy from renewable sources?
- Exit fees — All Irish suppliers charge an exit fee, unless you're out of contract. This fee is typically €50 per fuel.
In the table below, you'll find the cheapest electricity offers per supplier. The best deal is with Energia.
In addition to its unbeatable electricity rates, Energia also provides 100% renewable electricity and has an outstanding rating of 4.5 out of five stars on customer review site Trustpilot. That's much higher than Electric Ireland's score of 1.8 and Bord Gáis Energy's score of 2.0. Considering all of these factors, Energia stands out as the best electricity supplier in Ireland.
|Supplier||Best offer||Price per year|
|Bord Gáis Energy||36% Discount||€951.10|
|Electric Ireland||5.5% Discount
|SSE Airtricity||10% Discount
|Find the best offer for your home. Find the best offer for your home.|
*Figures are for illustrative purposes only. Calculations based on average consumption figures for an urban home with a 24-hour standard meter. All discounts and cashback have been applied. Last updated: October 2021
Gas providers in Ireland
Before the Irish gas market was deregulated in 2007, Bord Gáis Eireann was Ireland's only gas provider.
As with ESB, Bord Gáis Eireann was forced to cede over 50% of its customer base to new suppliers entering the market before being allowed to compete for customers again. It has since rebranded as Bord Gáis Energy.
- 2007 - The Irish gas market opens to competition. Flogas enters this domestic market.
- 2010 - SSE Airtricity enters the domestic gas market.
- 2011 - Electric Ireland enters the gas market.
- 2014 - Energia enters the gas market.
- 2016 - PrePayPower enters the gas market.
- 2017 - Just Energy launches in the gas market.
- 2018 - Panda Power enters the gas market.
- 2019 - Iberdrola launches in the gas market. Flogas acquires Just Energy customers.
The Future for Irish Suppliers
The issue of Brexit looms and the uncertainty surrounding it, and how it will affect our electricity prices due to ISEM, is of great concern. Our gas pricing could also increase due to a high reliance on Britain for imported gas.
All this can distract from the issue at hand which is that we have committed to reducing our carbon emissions and to greatly increasing our use of renewable energy.
But it’s not all doom and gloom, as the Celtic Interconnector has arrived on our horizon to brighten our futures. What is the Celtic Interconnector? Put simply, it’s a submarine power and fibre cable which will connect southern Ireland to the north-west coast of France (most probably to Brittany, one of the six recognised Celtic nations, hence the title).
The Celtic Interconnector will greatly improve the security of Irish electricity supply, lower supply costs, and help develop renewable energy more as both countries will be able to benefit from and encourage renewable electricity generation from either end of the cable. Feasibility studies for the Interconnector have been completed and the decision to proceed with it will be made in 2020 or 2021, with the cable predicted to be operational by 2025.
Whatever the changes to come, Selectra is here to keep you informed.