BE Energy provides electricity to homes, businesses, and farms, and launched electricity-only services in the Republic of Ireland in 2017. They are part of Budget Energy (Northern Ireland, established in 2011), who were awarded the Which? Best Value and Customer Service award for two consecutive years.
Reports on the market share of energy providers in Ireland do not specify BE Energy’s percentage, so it can be assumed to be a small one. You can view the most recent reports on energy suppliers and what percentage of customers in Ireland they have gained, in the 2018 CRU electricity and gas markets report.
When BE Energy first entered the market, they were widely reported to have the lowest standard unit rates and standing charges and also had a first-month free offer, providing them with a strong position from which to gain new customers and build market share
It was hoped that the arrival of yet another supplier would stimulate the market a bit, but no significant downward pricing has been observed. Healthy energy market competition is always to the benefit of customers.
BE Energy has an uncomplicated online login portal for which you’ll need the email address you signed up with, and the PIN they provided you with. If you forget your PIN, you’ll need to phone them, as for security reasons it can’t be changed online.
There are no ratings available yet for the BE Energy Ireland App on the Apple store, and just one for the Google play version. The single review is very positive but doesn’t relate to the actual app.
“Recently got signed up to this great service by ethan from there(sic) sales team, fantastic to deal with he switched over everything in 5 minutes! Great service all round!”
You need to already be a BE Energy customer to use it, and you can use it to pay any amount between €5 to €250 towards your current balance. It’ll also give you advice on how to read the different types of meters, and you can submit your readings with one tap.
It also has family sharing enabled in the Apple version. The link on their website to the Apple store app doesn’t load properly, but we rummaged around and found the correct link for you.
Rates & Tariffs
BE Energy advertises that they are Ireland’s cheapest provider for home urban and rural 24-hour tariffs. They have a barebones system whereby you submit your meter readings via their mobile application and only pay for the amount you have used.
BE Energy currently (as of September 2019) has three tariffs available:
- The Budget Advantage Tariff
- The Budget Bonus Tariff
- The Budget 2 Yr Fixed Deal
The Budget Advantage tariff comes with €200 welcome credit, the Budget Bonus tariff comes with 15% off their standard rates, and the Budget 2 Yr Fixed deal is a two-year contract locked into a rate of 17.99c per kWh (the same as their standard tariff).
BE energy no longer appears to have the famed first month free offer, having seemingly opted for directly applying discounts to its tariffs.
Like most Irish energy suppliers, they issue bi-monthly bills. They review your usage after your first six months, and annually thereafter, in order to adjust your Direct Debit amount upwards or downwards, keeping it in line with your actual usage.
Exit FeeBE Energy has a sizeable exit fee of €100 - double that of most Irish energy suppliers. So if you're considering switching to them, keep the exit fee in mind to avoid any nasty future surprises.
We’ve analysed their standard tariffs (current as of September 2019) below, and have calculated the yearly spend based on the national average of 4200kWh per year, as well as how much your bill would actually come to with the different tariffs applied.
However, this could differ greatly based on your actual consumption.
|Tariff||Unit Price||Day Unit Price||Night Unit Price||Standing Charge||PSO||Yearly Average||Budget Advantage with €200 credit||Budget Bonus||Budget 2 Yr Fixed|
(€868.77 w/ credit)
(€935.86 w/ credit)
(€773.91 w/ credit)
(€827.10 w/ credit)
Last Updated: September 2019
As you can see, the Budget Bonus tariff appears to be the cheapest BE Energy tariff, and the 2-year fixed-rate deal is set at the current standard rate. Fixed tariffs are still quite uncommon in Ireland, despite being popular with our neighbours in the UK.
Nobody can deny when speculating about energy prices, that the general pricing trend is always upwards. It remains a bit of a gamble as to whether it would be cheaper to lock yourself into a fixed tariff for 24 months or remain on a variable tariff.
It becomes even more fraught when you consider the effect Brexit may have on the Irish energy market and the resulting price fluctuations, given that our electricity supply is shared with the North, and we also receive electricity from the UK via the East-West interconnector.
Keep in mind that the most effective way to save money on your energy bills is by switching energy provider every 12 months. Otherwise, you could default to the standard tariff. In the case of BE Energy, defaulting from the cheapest tariff (the Budget Bonus tariff) to the standard one could cost you upwards of €100 a year extra on your BE Energy electricity bill.
How to sign up for a BE Energy Tariff
In order to sign up for a BE Energy tariff, you can contact customer services via telephone, or sign up online. There’s no need to contact your current provider in order to cancel your contract with them, as BE Energy will take care of everything.
Simply head over to BE Energy’s switching tool, and select the tariff you wish to contract from the Tariff Type dropdown menu. You can choose between the standard tariff, 2 Yr Fixed deal tariff, Budget Bonus tariff, or the BE Energy Advantage tariff. You’ll also have to specify whether you need an urban, rural, urban Nightsaver or rural Nightsaver tariff.
Once you’ve selected a tariff, the tariff breakdown will appear on the righthand side of your screen, detailing all the charges including and excluding VAT. You will also see the estimated annual bill (EAB), contract duration, minimum monthly Direct Debit, and the exit fee. The exit fee is what you will have to pay BE Energy if you leave your contract early.
After clicking next, you’ll be taken to the following page where you will need to enter all your personal details which include:
- First name
- Last name
- Date of birth
- Phone number
You’ll also need to confirm your contact details and tick the boxes indicating if you are opening a joint account, have special service needs, or require medical equipment.
Click the next button and you will be taken to payment information. It’s that simple.
Nearly two years on from BE Energy’s launch in the Republic of Ireland, as of September 2019, there are no reviews yet available for BE Energy. This could be due to the company being recently set up, or a slow take off in the Republic.
Its parent company Budget Energy is a different story and currently holds the following satisfaction ratings:
2.9/5 on Trustpilot
2.3/5 on Google
Budget Energy's recent ratings have indicated some possible customer service issues, which one would hope will not be repeated with BE Energy.
From looking at the graph below, and comparing BE Energy’s fuel mix with the CRU’s fuel mix disclosure report (2018), we can see how BE Energy stacks up against the all-island averages.
BE Energy’s use of coal for energy generation has dropped substantially from 2017’s numbers, going from 24.8% to 17.9%. As coal is neither a clean energy source nor a renewable one, we’d like to see that figure come down even further. The 23.9% for renewably sourced energy could also be improved upon when compared to the average of 48.9% for all-Ireland.
However, in this case, it’s important to note that the average figure for renewable energy generation is skewed by several providers who supply 100% renewable energy. For residential customers, these suppliers would be Energia, Just Energy (now defunct), Iberdrola Ireland, Panda Power, and SSE Airtricity.
BE Energy does have a win with their peat usage. Peat is considered a slow renewable resource, and BE Energy’s 12.1% compares favourably with the all-Ireland average of 4.9%.
BE Energy can be contacted via telephone, in writing, or by using their online contact form. Their hours are extensive for their freephone contact number, and letters sent to them will be received directly by their Dublin head office, instead of a PO Box as with some other providers.
BE Energy Contact Number
Please check with your provider if you don't know how much a call will cost.
1800 817 383
*Monday to Sunday: 8am-8pm