Most of us by now will have made the big switch, switching from one utility provider to the next…Electric Ireland to Bord Gais Energy, SSE Airtricity, Pinergy or even Flogas or even the reverse. Well done – you have saved between 10% and 18% of your normal electricity bill. For comparisons, the energy regulator (The Commission for Regulation of Utilities) has accredited 3 organisations for comparison/switching..


You need your most recent utility bill to hand in order to input your meter number, existing package, usage, payment method, Smart meter installed etc and the switching company (above) do the rest… generally takes between 5 and 10 days to effect a switch…

However once done, is that it ? What other economies or actions can we take as a family to economise and help the family budget ? We all need to pull together, save together where we can especially now where energy costs are literally gone through the roof since the brutal war in Ukraine started last February year.

So here are a number of electric tips you would well be advised to take onboard – it’s not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s learning to dance in the rain – thirteen money-saving ways to reduce your electricity bill at a time when you need it most from John Lowe of :

  1. Changing your bulbs to LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) – this will save you up to 20% of your annual bills. Karen Scott of PINERGY tells me they may not look as pretty, but they will put money back in your pocket.
  2. Only use washing machines and dishwashers with full loads – like your dustbin, it will pay you to optimise the load.
  3. Never have the immersion on with your central heating – the immersion should only be used during the summer or when you do not need your central heating. The immersion is like a kettle – it should be switched off when you have heated the water.
  4. Turn your thermostat down by 1° you will save 10% of your annual heating bill !
  5. Use timers and night timers together with dimmers for light switches – also for those washing loads at night. Heavy sleepers never hear the din but count the money !
  6. Use nightlights, especially in the bathroom. They are cheap to run.
  7. Avoid peak time use as much as possible ( between 5pm and 7pm )
  8. Turn off all lights in rooms not being used. Children especially should be encouraged to turn off lights especially in their own bedrooms when they leave for school on Winter mornings. Minimise lighting where you can. Think of using candles – it’s more romantic !
  9. Only boil water in a kettle for your immediate needs – no need to put on a full kettle when you only want a cup of tea for yourself !
  10. Take short showers and if bathing, have all the family use the same water, but not if one of them have just returned from a filthy rugby match !
  11. Ensure your fridge and freezer is full – if you cannot fill it, place jugs of water inside. It is cheaper to run a full freezer than an empty one.
  12. In Summer, use the clothes line to air your washing – cheaper than the expensive tumble-dryer. Only use that tumble dryer off peak and preferably at night time rates.
  13. Switch off all electronic equipment – leaving them on “stand-by” mode uses 20% of the normal output.

Hopefully, the above will have turned you on or put another way don’t switch off the idea of saving money. Better in your pocket.

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