It is time to make a routine check of your Electricity and Natural Gas costs. The peak energy season is soon to start and deals will be available to entice customers away.
Useful Information you will need to know before you switch:
A) Your Unique Electricity or Natural Gas meter number
- Electricity, this is called your MPRN – 11 digit number
- Natural Gas, this is called your GPRN – 7 digit number
You will usually find these numbers clearly stated on the front page of a bill.
B) A meter reading or last bill
It is best if you can read your own meter. However, you may not have a meter cupboard key or find this difficult. In this case, have your last bill handy when you want to change supplier and note the last meter reading on the bill.
C) Consider using a Web based Utility Change Site
There are a number of utility change web sites. The most popular are:
D) Changing and Security of Supply
Changing utility accounts will not affect your electricity or natural gas supply. The change of supplier can take 2-3 weeks but you could save €200 - €300 a year on your bills.
E) Continue to Check Your Bills
Remember to continue checking your bills to ensure that you get the reductions promised by your new supplier and contact your supplier immediately if the price changes.
- Check your own meters / install a wireless monitor
It is a good idea to get into the habit of checking your own meters. You will need:
- Key for the Electricity and Gas meter cupboards
- Note pad and pen (a camera phone can be handy here if you have one)
Rule your note pad with the following columns:-
Full house for the weekend
We suggest that you take your readings:-
- Monday Morning
- Friday Evening
This will tell you:-
- How much you used during the week days
- How much you used at the week end
- How much over the full week (week days + week end)
Making a quick note will help you to check if the use is high or low; e.g. “Quiet week” or “Everybody home for the Bank Holiday week-end”.
Do this for a couple of months and you will be amazed how much you learn about your energy use.
F) Wireless Electricity Monitors
For electricity consumption, it is possible to get a wireless monitor that you may keep in your kitchen / sitting room which will do this work for you. These monitors are available from a variety of electrical / electronic outlets. They cost between €50 - €100 and if you can afford one, they are an excellent way to help manage your energy use. If you are not confident about installing one, always ask an electrician!
Also check out the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission website for some very useful information.