Moving to a new country, Ireland included, alone or with family can be exhilarating and stressful at the same time. No matter how mentally prepared you are for the move, you are bound to encounter a challenge or two. So it’s helpful to reduce your stress by doing a lot of research about your new home. Maybe know one or two things about mobile phone subscription to keep connected. Some good thing about Ireland for foreigners who are English speakers is that communication might not be a problem. It is one of the countries where English is spoken widely.
This means that it shouldn’t be difficult to set up electricity and heating in your new apartment. Electricity and gas make up a large part of your utility bills so it makes sense to focus on them during your move. How much you pay will however, depend on a range of factors including how frequently you use and the type of appliance you have in your home. Always remember that you can significantly cut costs by living on the outskirts of a city.
Overview of Heating and Electricity in Ireland
There is high demand for electricity and heating in Ireland for both residential and commercial properties. You will notice that most apartments in the country receive heating through solid fuels, oil, gas, or electricity. In some cases, you will find your electricity and gas bills included in your rent.
If you are an environmental conservationist, you will be pleased to learn that some modern homes in Ireland use solar panels. However, note that the most popular heating source is electricity. And you should pay attention to your usage because both gas and electricity can be expensive.
One unique feature about Ireland’s electricity supply is the increasing number of prepaid options available. Don’t be surprised to find that your new house has a pre-pay/pay as you go (PAYG) electricity set up. It implies that you pay for the service before you can use it.
Similarly, most service providers expect their subscribers to pay bills monthly or bi-monthly. However, for the PAYG meter, you will buy tokens according to your usage. On the one hand, you can keep track of your usage and spending with this system. On the other hand, when your credit runs out, so does your electricity.
Gas and Electricity Suppliers in Ireland
In Ireland, the Electrical Supply Board (ESB) distributes and maintains electricity services. ESB is owned by the state and is not considered an electricity supplier. So, to connect to electricity services, you must sign up with other electricity suppliers in the country. Connecting to these services is straightforward as long as you meet their requirements.
There are several gas and electricity suppliers in Ireland including small and large suppliers. The large supplier in most cases remains constant. The smaller companies don’t do as well since in most cases, they merge with the larger ones.
Examples of companies that supply both gas and electricity include; Flogas Natural Gas, Bord Gáis Energy, Electric Ireland, Energia, SSE Airtricity, Iberdrola and Panda Power. Providers who only supply electricity include; Community Power and Glow Power.
Finally, the providers that offer prepay electricity are PrePayPower, PINERGY and Electric Ireland. With so many suppliers in the market, it’s important to compare prices to identify the cheapest providers. You can do this by using online sites such as Bonkers and Switcher. Prepay Power and Electric Ireland are among the cheapest providers in the market.
Connecting to Gas and Electricity Services in Ireland
Most providers will ask for the current meter reading at your new home. This is important because it will ensure that you only pay for your usage. Similarly, you must provide your personal details so include an ID or passport in your application. I also recommend getting a local bank account as soon as you get to Ireland.
Most providers will ask for your bank details for payment through direct debit. However, of these, the most important requirement is the ESB supplied Meter Point Reference Number (MPRN). An MPRN consists of 11 digits and identifies your properties’ unique connection. So before you make an application, ask your landlord or agent to provide you with this number.
How Energy Bills are calculated in Ireland
As an expat, you might be wondering how your electricity bills are calculated in Ireland. Well, the first thing you need to know is that your usage will be measured in Kilowatt-hours (kWhs). Each kWh is generally referred to as a unit so your usage for a given billing period will depend on how many units you use.
This, will then be multiplied by the unit rate to determine the total amount you owe your provider. However, note that the final amount you pay will also include the standing charge, levies and VAT. So, these will be added before the bill is finally sent to you.
In most cases, these amounts will depend on the electricity tariff that you choose. You should also be on the lookout for special offers, discount codes or cashback promotions from providers. Also remember that you can switch your supplier anytime you want. So, don’t get stuck with a supplier that does not suit your needs.