Householders to get summer bills respite?
Hard pressed householders might be in for a summer bargain from gas suppliers.
The likelihood is that of Bord Gais Energy will spark a price war among gas suppliers – or at least offer consumers some new bargain buys.
If the gas market follows the pattern of change that followed the deregulation of electricity, it will increase competition between energy suppliers and provide consumers with a greater chance of reducing their gas and electricity bills.
And it may happen as early as March ensuring summer bargains.
The Commision for Energy Regulation is keen to see deregulation and knows that it will benefit consumers – but we don’t have a specific, yet.
Deregulation would assist the energy market in Ireland by increasing competition among gas suppliers and the CER is keen for it to occur.
It will also increase competition between energy suppliers and provide consumers with a greater chance of reducing their gas and electricity bills.
In February 2000, the Republic’s electricity market was deregulated for about 400 of the largest electricity consumers. That figure was increased in subsequent years to 1,600 customers until the full market opened in 2005.
“Regulation has created the right conditions for a competitive electricity market to flourish, bringing lower prices and improved choice and quality of tariff products. Deregulation of prices will help provide further choice and competitive prices in the long run.
“The CER is committed to building on this progress with detailed measures to protect consumers and support the competitive market,” said the Regulator Michael Tutty.
Electricity deregulation led to the emergence of new retail suppliers, and most recently the arrival of pre-pay power companies where consumers can buy across the counter credits to programme into home meters- much the same as pre-pay mobile phones.
Deregulation also prompted suppliers to offer deals in the new market place.
Deregulation brought competition to the marketplace which was good for the consumer. Now One Big Switch is championing the cause of energy consumers by campaigning for change and harnessing people power to unlock the power of group discounting.
Even with deregulation, consumers were still standing alone and were unable to negotiate significant deals with suppliers.
The Big Energy Switch campaign aims to unite consumers into a mass movement, a consumer network, to seek better deals on gas and energy by unlocking the power and value of group discounting.
Energy prices will be fully deregulated this year. Also this year, householders will get their first water charge bills as meter installation continues.
People power will be demanding deregulation of the water industry – for a flood of discounts.
So let’s hear about your experience of energy deregulation and your timetable for water deregulation.