Electric Ireland Pay As You Go: Compare PAYG Rates

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Thinking of signing up for Electric Ireland Pay As You Go? Will it really save you money? Compare PAYG rates and plans and decide if you should switch to an Electric Ireland prepay offer today.

Electric Ireland Pay As You Go Electricity

Electric Ireland has two different types of Pay As You Go options: traditional PAYG and Smarter Pay As You Go (SPAYG). Currently, customers can only opt in to SPAYG. Traditional prepayment plans are only available to customers who are either in arrears or struggling financially.

With SPAYG, you get a free smart meter and an in-home monitor. There is also a €265 sign-up bonus for new customers.

With the smart meter techonology, 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 300m of the smart meter and can be plugged in or used with batteries.

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Electric Ireland Pay As You Go Rates

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Electric Ireland offers two types of Pay As You Go electricity plans. To help you compare rates and find the best offer for your home, we've organised these details in the following order:

  • PAYG unit rates
  • PAYG fixed costs
  • PAYG electricity plans
  • PAYG electricity plans compared

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

Electric Ireland Pay As You Go 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 21.84c/kWh 21.84c/kWh
Night Saver 23.31c/kWh 11.51c/kWh

Last updated: October 2021

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 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Winter night hours — 11 p.m. to 8 a.m.
  • Summer day hours — 9 a.m. to midnight
  • Summer night hours — Midnight to 9 a.m.

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:

  • Electricity standing charge — This charge covers the costs of maintaining the electricity network.
  • PSO Levy — This Government mandate supports generating electricity from renewable sources.
  • PAYG service charge — This covers the cost of maintaining your PAYG meter.

Electric Ireland Pay As You Go customers pay the same standing charge and P.S.O. 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 PAYG Service Charge Total Fixed Costs
24 Hour Urban €190.19/year €58.57/year €136.88 €385.64
24 Hour Rural €250.93/year €58.57/year €136.88 €446.38
Night Saver Urban €258.18/year €58.57/year €136.88 €453.63
Night Saver Rural €324.79/year €58.57/year €136.88 €520.24

Last updated: October 2021

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 €1,303
24 Hour Rural €1,364
Night Saver Urban €1,185
Night Saver Rural €1,251

Calculations include the welcome bonus. Last updated: October 2021

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 sevice fee, but you're also not offered the discounts that credit meter customers receive.

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 €1,196
Electricity €210 online welcome bonus
5.5% direct debit & paperless billing discount
€915 first year cost
Green Electricity 100% green electricity
€210 online welcome bonus
5.5% direct debit & paperless billing discount
€911 first year cost
Electricity NightSaver €210 online welcome bonus
5.5% direct debit & paperless billing discount
€798 first year cost
Green Electricity NightSaver 100% green electricity
€210 online welcome bonus
5.5% direct debit & paperless billing discount
€803 first year cost
PAYG €265 welcome bonus €1,038 first year cost
PAYG NightSaver €265 welcome bonus €920 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 2021

Electric Ireland PAYG is expensive, but you can still get discounts with Electric Ireland Rewards.

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 €210 Cashback €1,196.27
Pinergy €100 Cashback €1,539.16
PrepayPower Standard €1,417.63
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

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Pay As You Go Reviews

Unfortunately, the few reviews for Electric Ireland that mention PAYG tend to be negative. Some Electric Ireland prepay customers claim to have been charged final bills upon closing their accounts despite the fact that they pay for their energy as they consume it. 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

Due to the scarcity of reviews mentioning Electric Ireland PAYG, these reviews should be taken with a pinch of salt as they are not representative of the whole customer base.

Electric Ireland Prepay Top Up

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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. For more details on the ins and outs of topping up with Electric Ireland, check out our Electric Ireland top up guide.

Electric Ireland Emergency Credit

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.

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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 5 pm to 9 am, late March to October, and from 4 pm to 8 am starting late October until late March.
  • From 5 pm on Friday until 9 am 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.

Electric Ireland PAYG Gas

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.

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 makes it more difficult to plan and track your spending.

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.

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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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.

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