Electric Ireland Pay As You Go: How Does It Compare?

electric Ireland logo with prepayment meter

Looking for information on Electric Ireland Pay As You Go? Electric Ireland is one of the few companies in Ireland to offer an alternative payment method to direct debit when paying for your energy. Electric Ireland Pay As You Go is a great option for those customers who want to have control of their spending! Read our comprehensive Electric Ireland Pay As You Go guide to find out if it's the best option for you!


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What Is Electric Ireland Pay As You Go?

meter

Pay As You Go (PAYG) is a way of paying for your electricity and gas that is different to paying by a monthly direct debt. With PAYG, you have a card or a smart meter where you choose how much you want to top up your meter and then the meter takes the money off as you use the electricity or gas. If you run out of money on the meter, your electricity and gas will stop.

Electric Ireland - as the biggest electricity supplier in Ireland - is a reliable option for pay as you go with average rates and has a variety of pay as you go options for you to choose from.

What Pay As You Go Options Does Ireland Ireland Have?

Electric Ireland have two different pay as you go options: the Traditional Pay As You Go meter and the Smarter Pay As You Go.

  1. Traditional Pay As You Go
    Traditional Pay As You Go is no longer an option which is available to new customers and are only available to customers who are either in arrears or struggling financially. It involves using a card that you would top up at a Payzone outlet.
  2. Smarter Pay As You Go
    Currently, customers can only opt in to SPAYG. With SPAYG, you get a free smart meter and an in-home monitor. There is also a €265 sign-up bonus for new customers.
wifi icon

What Does Smarter Pay As You Go Give You?

With the smart meter technology, Electric Ireland Pay As You Go electricity customers are able to do the following:

  • See how much energy they're consuming in near real-time.
  • Control their spending by setting daily spending goals.
  • Top up their meter online or with their phone.
  • Check their carbon emissions.
  • Set an alarm for when credit is running low.

The monitor needs to be within 300 meter of the smart meter and can be plugged in or used with batteries.

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What Are Electric Ireland Pay As You Go Rates Like?

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Electric Ireland offers two types of pay as you go electricity plans as well as different electricity rates that are on offer. To help you compare rates and find the best offer for your home, we've organised these details in the following order:

  1. PAYG Unit Rates
  2. PAYG Fixed Costs
  3. PAYG Electricity Plans

This information only includes electricity details as customers cannot opt in to PAYG gas.

What Are Electric Ireland’s PAYG Unit Rates?

The electricity unit rate is the price you pay per kWh of electricity consumed. The unit rates for Electric Ireland PAYG electricity are the same as the standard unit rate for credit meters. You can find these rates in the following table.

Standard Electric Ireland Electricity Unit Rates
Meter Type Day Unit Rate Night Unit Rate
24 Hour 43.27c/kWh 43.27c/kWh
Day/Night 46.23c/kWh 22.80c/kWh
Night Saver N/A 22.80c/kWh
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Night Saver charges only apply if you have a separate Night Storage Heating meter. Last updated: November 2022

What is a night saver meter? With a Night Saver meter, customers can get reduced electricity rates at night. These cheaper rates are available during the following hours:

Winter day hours: 8 am to 11 pm
Winter night hours:11 pm to 8 am
Summer day hours: 9 am to Midnight
Summer night hours: Midnight to 9 am

magnifying glass over bill

What Are the Electric Ireland Pay As You Go Fixed Costs?

In addition to paying for the electricity that you consume, you're also charged for fixed electricity costs. These include the following for Electric Ireland Pay As You Go customers:

  1. Electricity Standing Charge
    This charge covers the costs of maintaining the electricity network. It is a charge you pay for daily for having your property’s electricity connected to the grid.
  2. PSO Levy
    The Public Service Obligation (PSO) is government mandate supports generating electricity from renewable sources. Due to the energy crisis, the PSO levy has been reduced to €0.
  3. PAYG Service Charge
    This covers the cost of maintaining your PAYG meter.
Read More in Our PSO Levy Guide!

Electric Ireland Pay As You Go customers pay the same standing charge and PSO. Levy as customers with credit meters. However, PAYG customers must pay an additional service fee to cover the ongoing cost of maintaining the meter.

You can find the fixed Electricity Ireland Pay As You Go electricity costs in the following table.

Electric Ireland Fixed Electricity Costs
Meter Type Standing Charge PSO Levy Total Fixed Costs
24 Hour Urban €302.92/year €0.00/year €302.92
24 Hour Rural €380.46/year €0.00/year €380.46
Day/Night Urban €396.89/year €0.00/year €396.89
Day/Night Rural €483.71/year €0.00/year €483.71
Night Saver €15.31/year €0.00/year €15.31

Night Saver charges only apply if you have a separate Night Storage Heating meter. Last updated: November 2022

What Are the Electric Ireland Pay As You Go Electricity Plans?

In the following table, we've calculated the estimated annual bill (EAB) for Electric Ireland Pay As You Go electricity plans according to meter type. These electricity plans are part of Electric Ireland Smarter PAYG. You will need to have a smart meter installed in order to register for one of these offers.

These Electric Ireland Pay As You Go plans include a €265 welcome bonus for new customers. Calculations are based on the average household, which consumes 4,200 kWh of electricity per year.

Electric Ireland Smarter PAYG Electricity Plans
Meter Type Estimated Annual Bill
24 Hour Urban €2,102
24 Hour Rural €2,189
Night Saver Urban €1,828
Night Saver Rural €1,915

Calculations include the welcome bonus. Last updated: October 2022

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Is Electric Ireland PAYG More Expensive?

As an Electric Ireland Pay As You Go customer, you pay more for your energy than customers with credit meters do. Not only are you charged a PAYG service fee, but you're also not offered the discounts that credit meter customers receive. PAYG can be more expensive, but you can also get discounts with Electric Ireland rewards.

In the table below, we've compared Electric Ireland Pay As You Go electricity plans to the offers for credit meters.

Electric Ireland Electricity Plans Compared
Plan Offer Estimated Annual Bill (EAB)
Standard none €2,120.26
Electricity €150 online welcome bonus
5.5% direct debit & paperless billing discount
€1,870 first year cost
Green Electricity 100% green electricity
€150 online welcome bonus
5.5% direct debit & paperless billing discount
€1,880 first year cost
Electricity NightSaver €150 online welcome bonus
5.5% direct debit & paperless billing discount
€1,617 first year cost
Green Electricity NightSaver 100% green electricity
€150 online welcome bonus
5.5% direct debit & paperless billing discount
€1,627 first year cost
PAYG €150 welcome bonus €2,102 first year cost
PAYG NightSaver €150 welcome bonus €1,828 first year cost

The EAB is based on the average urban household, which consumes 4,200 kWh of electricity per year. Discounts are applied to unit rates only. The welcome bonus has been included. Last updated: October 2022

Is Electric Ireland Cheaper Than Prepaypower?

The short answer is that Electric Ireland is cheaper than PrepayPower. The average household would save nearly €190 per year by switching from PrepayPower to Electric Ireland.

In the table below, you can compare Electric Ireland Pay As You Go rates to other prepayment suppliers in Ireland.

Cheapest Prepayment Electricity Offer per Supplier
Supplier Best offer Price per year
Electric Ireland €150 Cashback €2,102.00
Pinergy Family Time €1,973.00
PrepayPower Standard €1,959.80
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*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 2022

What About Electric Ireland PAYG Gas?

gas bill money

While customers can choose to opt in to Electric Ireland prepay electricity, prepay gas is reserved only for customers who may be experiencing payment difficulties or have accumulated debt.

Do I Get a SPAYG Plan for Gas?

Electric Ireland PAYG gas does not include a smart meter. You receive your top up card after installation and need to manually insert it into the meter in order to top up. As with the SPAYG electricity meter, there is an emergency credit option. Simply insert your card into your meter when your credit is low. Then press the red button when the emergency credit option appears on the screen.

Paying off your emergency credit on your gas meter is a little more complicated than with the electricity option, as once you avail of this option, the standing charge payment is suspended and accrues as debt until you buy credit. This can makemakes it more difficult to plan and track your spending.

What If I’m Struggling To Pay My Gas?

If you’re finding it difficult to keep up with your gas payments, or if you are in debt for unpaid bills, changing to the Electric Ireland PAYG option can help you get back on your feet by spreading out your repayments. In this case, 25% of each top up will go to paying any debt and 75% will be used for standing charges, usage, and emergency credit. Electric Ireland will also send customers gas bills every two months to aid in tracking their gas consumption.

If you’re going to be away for a while or need to turn off your gas supply for any other reason, you’ll need to pick up a meter box key from a nearby hardware shop. Note that you’ll still have to pay the fixed standing charges even if you’re not using any gas.

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Pay-As-You-Go is the most expensive way to pay for energy.

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How Do I Do an Electric Ireland Prepay Top Up?

Just like PrepayPower and Pinergy customers, you can top up your Electric Ireland Pay As You Go meter at any Payzone outlet, Post or Postpoint Agent. If you have a smart meter, you can also top up online or via text message.

Read More in Our Electric Ireland Top Up Guide!

How Does Electric Ireland Emergency Credit Work?

megaphone

If your credit is about to run out and you don’t have time to get to the shop, there is no need to worry as Electric Ireland provides a generous €10 emergency credit offer. 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.

To view your emergency credit usage, gas usage and credit/debt information, you must press the red button on your meter and hold it for three seconds until a beep sounds. You'll then be able to scroll through the menu to find the information you need.

What Are the 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:

  1. Weekday Hours
    Monday to Thursday from 5 pm to 9 am, late March to October, and from 4 pm to 8 am starting late October until late March. On Fridays, from 5 pm on until 9 am on Monday morning.
  2. Holiday Hours
    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.

How Do I Contact Electric Ireland for PAYG Enquires?

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

Electric Ireland Pay As You Go Contact Details
Contact Method Contact Details Availability
Phone 1800 372 372 Mon-Fri 9 am to 5 pm
Email [email protected] 24/7
Post Electric Ireland
PO Box 841
South City Delivery Office
Cork T12C825
N/A

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