Standard unit rates and standing charges (excluding Vat) by supplier:
- BEenergy 0.1499 — €128
- Bord Gáis Energy 0.1502 — €131.64
- Energia 0.1665 — €139.25
- Electric Ireland 0.1513 — €128.26
- Panda Power 0.1663 — €139
- SSE Airtricity 0.1565 —€133.33
- Energia is offering a “Clever Electricity” rate of 33%, bringing down its unit rate to 0.116.
BEenergy, which is part of Northern Irish company Budget Energy, has entered the Irish electricity market with its ‘Freedom’ electricity plan.
The move spells good news for consumers as the supplier has the lowest standard unit rate and standing charge on the market, and is offering one month’s free electricity to new customers.
Although it will not be offering a discounted rate, most consumers remain on standard tariffs and would, therefore, benefit from the company’s rate.
BEenergy is the first new entrant to the market for domestic energy since Panda Power in 2015.
Eoin Clarke, managing director of Switcher.ie, said: “It’s great to see a new electricity supplier come onto the Irish market, the first since Panda Power entered in 2015. We also haven’t seen any electricity price decreases since last October, so this has the potential to shake things up a bit.
"At the end of the day, more players in the market can only be a good thing — as it means more choice for consumers and greater competition between suppliers, which should help to drive prices down and service up.
“BEenergy’s standard unit rate is the lowest on the market, as is their standing charge, and they’re offering one month’s free electricity to new customers, which could amount to a saving of up to €71.80.
"They don’t offer a discounted plan, though, so customers are unlikely to make the biggest possible savings by switching to them. However, the latest CER data shows eight in ten (81%) electricity customers are on standard plans — and BEenergy’s standard rate is the lowest one out there.
“In the last few months we’ve some of the biggest ever discounts on electricity plans, along with other benefits such as cash back offers from some suppliers.
"Electricity customers can currently save up to €226 by switching from a standard plan to the cheapest deal on the market, which goes to show that competitive deals are out there.
"As the market continues to change, it’s likely we’ll see even more innovations as suppliers compete to win customers — especially if new entrants continue to come into the market.
"All consumers have to do is shop around to take advantage and enjoy significant savings,” added Mr Clarke.
A warning earlier this month that energy prices may rise is likely to prompt consumers to shop around. Six major energy companies in Britain have already announced price increases in the past two months.
Scottish Power blamed increasing wholesale prices for a 7.8% rise in dual fuel prices which will hit a third of its one million customers.
It came just a week after Npower announced price hikes of 9.8% and EDF confirmed a 1.2% hike, while other energy suppliers in Britain, SSE and E.ON, are expected to follow suit.
Since the end of 2014, Bord Gáis Energy, Electric Ireland and Flogas have all cut their gas and electricity prices three times, while SSE Airtricity also cut their electricity prices three times.
However, in the last few months of 2016, wholesale energy prices have started to rise again.