Electric Ireland Pay As You Go

Electric Ireland logo in blue and yellow banner

Electric Ireland has two different types of Pay As You Go options - PAYG and SPAYG. Currently, customers can only opt into SPAYG (Smarter Pay As You Go) for their PAYG electricity needs.

Electric Ireland’s PAYG services for electricity (not smart meters, which would be SPAYG) and gas are currently only available for customers who are having trouble meeting their bills or have accrued debt which they may be finding difficult to pay off. In this article, we’ll be focusing on PAYG.


How do I get PAYG with Electric Ireland?

A blue energy meter

If you find that you are falling behind with your credit meter payments, or experience a change in personal or professional circumstances that may make it difficult for you to meet future bills, we recommend that you contact Electric Ireland as soon as possible to discuss the situation with them.

Depending on your personal circumstances, Electric Ireland may then offer to install a PAYG meter for you free of charge, in order to help you manage your budget more easily, or pay off any debt you have built up with them.

We recommend that you do not put off contacting EI if you are experiencing payment difficulties, as your services may be cut off. You could then subsequently be even worse off financially as you might be charged a reconnection fee.

For those who have outstanding debt to pay off, 25% of all top ups will be used to pay off the outstanding balance. This means that if you top up with €20, for example, then €15 will be credited to your meter and €5 paid off your debt.


Electric Ireland PAYG emergency credit

If your credit is about to run out and you don’t have time to get to the shops, no need to worry as Electric Ireland provide a generous €10 emergency credit. To get emergency credit, just press any key on your meter keypad when your credit is running low and the meter is beeping.

Any emergency credit used will be deducted from your next top up.

Friendly credit hours

Apart from your PAYG emergency credit facility, you also have the advantage of friendly credit hours with Electric Ireland. “Friendly credit” refers to certain dates and times that Electric Ireland will not cut you off if you use up all your credit and emergency credit. Note that you will still have to pay back any emergency credit and friendly credit used up, and these will be deducted from your next top up.

Friendly credit hours are:

  • Monday to Thursday: from 5pm to 9am, late March to October, and from 4pm to 8am starting late October until late March.
  • From 5pm on Friday until 9am on Monday morning.
  • Certain dates and holidays: 1st January (New Year’s Day), 17th March (St. Patrick’s Day), 24th December (Christmas Eve), 25th December (Christmas Day), 26th December (St. Stephen’s Day) & 31st December (New Year’s Eve).

Please note that bank holidays are not credit friendly days, and as such, if you run out of both credit and emergency credit on those days, your electricity and/or gas supply will be cut off.


What are the rates for Electric Ireland PAYG?

Some greenbanknotes with two piles of yellow coins in front of them

A lot of customers wonder if they will end up paying more on a pay as you go meter (Spoiler alert: yes, you will). Are the rates higher? Well, technically no, that's not the issue at all here.

Customers on PAYG Electric Ireland PAYG meters will pay the same standing charge and electricity and gas rates as those on regular credit meters.

However, there are two factors that combine to make PAYG more expensive, not just with Electric Ireland, but with all Irish energy suppliers across the board.

  1. PAYG customers are not offered the same discounts off their unit rates that credit meter customers are.
  2. PAYG customers may pay the same standing charge as credit meter customers, but they also pay an additional charge, called a PAYG service charge.

WIth Electric Ireland, the PAYG charge is currently set at 19c per day to cover the maintenance costs of your PAYG meter. That works out to approximately €70 extra a year, on top of the fact that PAYG customers are missing out on discounts of up to 11% on their gas and electric unit rates.

Combine all these factors, and customers on PAYG can end up shelling out between €100-€200 more annually. For more information on PAYG services and rates in Ireland, take a look at our general PAYG in Ireland guide.

It is quite difficult to encounter Electric Ireland’s PAYG rates and charges, as the EI website only displays their SPAYG charges and discounted unit rates for credit meter customers. However, after some investigation, we have been able to break it down as follows: (All prices are inclusive of VAT)

Item Charge
Electricity Unit Price €0.1974 per KwH
Gas Unit Price €0.06097 per KwH
Annual Standing Charge (Urban) €167.24
Annual Standing Charge (Rural) €220.64
Annual PSO Levy €47.34
PAYG Service Charge €0.19* per day

*PAYG service charge is set at 19c per day on the website, however, Electric Ireland agents have said that this charge can sometimes be waived if customers have a PAYG meter as part of a debt repayment scheme.


How do I top up my Electric Ireland PAYG meter?

You can top up your Electric Ireland pay as you go meter through Payzone, online if registered with them, or offline in any Payzone outlet. Top up by text is also possible. For more details on the ins and outs of topping up with Electric Ireland, check out our Electric Ireland top up guide.


Electric Ireland PAYG reviews

The few reviews for Electric Ireland that mention PAYG, unfortunately, tend to be overwhelmingly negative. Electric Ireland PAYG customers have claimed to have been charged final bills upon closing their accounts, despite the point of PAYG being to - literally - pay as you go. Delays in receiving meter cards and high tariffs have also been mentioned.

“Excessively high tariff spent £20 on a top up which lasted 9 days which I have now had to top up. In comparison to this time last year, the same amount for the same usage would have lasted at 16 days with Airtricity” by an Electric Ireland customer

However, due to the scarcity of reviews mentioning PAYG in relation to Electric Ireland, these reviews should be taken with a pinch of salt as they are not representative of the whole.


Contact

If you should experience any issues with topping up, or wish to make a complaint or enquire about PAYG with Electric Ireland, you’ll find all of the contact details for Electric Ireland’s services and departments on our Electric Ireland contact page.

Updated on