Electricity – Who to Choose

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You have the freedom to choose which private company provides electricity to your home. These companies offer various services, payment options, and deals, and some of them also supply gas alongside electricity.

Two comparison websites you can use to help you find the best electricity supplier are Bonkers.ie and switcher.ie. These websites allow you to compare different suppliers and their offers to make an informed choice.

ESB Networks (ESBN) is responsible for managing and maintaining the electricity network. You should contact ESBN in two situations: when you’re connecting to the electricity grid for the first time or when you’re disconnecting completely from the grid. In most cases, though, your everyday electricity needs will be handled by your chosen electricity supplier.

Here’s how you can connect to an electricity service or switch suppliers:

  1. Getting an Electricity Connection:
    • If you’re moving into a property that has never been connected to electricity before or has been disconnected for more than two years, you need to apply to an electricity supplier for a domestic supply agreement.
    • You can find a list of licensed energy suppliers on the CRU website.
    • Once you’ve chosen a supplier, contact ESBN with your details, your new home’s Meter Point Reference Number (MPRN) and Maximum Import Capacity (MIC), your address, and your chosen supplier’s name.
    • Your supplier will then request ESBN to activate your electricity connection and install a meter. Your builder’s electrician will switch on the electricity supply in your home.
  2. Security Deposit:
    • Your electricity supplier may charge a deposit, but they must have a fair and transparent policy.
    • The deposit should be returned in your final bill when your contract ends (usually after 12 months).
    • If you have difficulty affording a deposit due to a low income, check if you’re eligible for assistance from your local INTREO office.
  3. Moving:
    • If you’re leaving a property, inform your electricity supplier and provide a final meter reading.
    • When moving into a previously occupied house with an electricity connection, take a meter reading and set up a new account with a service supplier. If you’re renting, your landlord might handle this for you.
    • If the house has been disconnected, the reconnection process depends on how long it’s been disconnected.
  4. Switching Electricity Supplier:
    • If you’re unhappy with your current electricity supplier, you can switch to another one.
    • Check if you’re in a fixed-term contract, as there may be charges for switching.
    • Research different suppliers to find the best option for your needs.
    • Before switching, gather information about your current usage, contract end date, and use price comparison websites like Bonkers.ie and switcher.ie to compare offers.
    • The new supplier will notify your old supplier about the switch.
  5. Changing Your Mind:
    • If you change your mind within 14 days of signing up with a new supplier (phone, online, or at your doorstep), you can cancel the contract during this “cooling-off” period.
  6. Rules Suppliers Must Follow:
    • The Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) regulates the electricity industry.
    • Suppliers must follow codes of practices that cover various aspects, such as billing, disconnections, marketing, complaint handling, and more.
    • They must also have Customer Charters outlining service levels, compensation, and refunds.
    • These documents should be available on the supplier’s website.
  7. How to Complain:
    • Contact your electricity supplier or ESB Networks for issues or complaints.
    • If the problem isn’t resolved, you can contact the CRU for advice or use its complaint resolution service.
    • In case of dissatisfaction, you can take legal action through the Small Claims Procedure.

For more information, you can visit the CRU’s dedicated customer information section on their website.

Electricity – Who to Choose

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