Can’t pay your energy bill on time? You’re not alone.
Do you know how much electricity or gas you use each year?
Most people don’t and research suggests that’s why householders are shocked when their bills arrive.
And, that’s proven by the large number of people who can’t pay their bill in full on time.
The Commission for Energy Research says that a typical 3 bedroomed household uses 5,300kWh of electricity a year – based on Electric Ireland’s Standard 24 hour tariff plus the urban standing charge, the PSO levy and VAT at 13.5% that works out at €1,179 a year.
That’s a lot of money to find every year – and annual research by the CER starkly shows up that difficulty with 6% of householders are, or were sometimes in arrears.
And a disconnection rate of just over one per cent has continued for the past two years for non payment of bills.
One in five electricity users typically pays part of their bill when it arrives – but manages to pay it off in installments before the next bill arrives.
The story for gas users is similar, 3% are or were sometimes in arrears, while 22% part pay their bill.
The research shows some slippage in the numbers who always pay their bills in full and on time – a sign of the tough economic times.
Only a few months ago, the St Vincent De Paul told the human story behind those figures.
Hard up families are finding it hard to make ends meet – energy bills have jumped by €500 in a year with gas bills increasing by a third over the past three years.
Responding to the St Vincent DePaul figures, Sean Moynihan of ALONE, the charity supporting the elderly said: “Some of the older people we work with are left to make tough decisions as to whether to buy fuel or to eat.”
That’s pretty shocking don’t you think?
People struggling to pay their bills, or in the case of some whether to eat or heat, should be a wake up call to everyone to keep a tight watch on our bills and manage them effectively.
The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland has lots of advice about how we can cut our national energy bill which costs about 3 billion euros a year – and how householders can cut down on their own energy consumption.
Share with us how you have managed your bills – and how you’ve helped a parent, neighbour or friend to reduce their bills.