Consumer switching slows in Ireland


Dublin, Ireland — (METERING.COM) — June 5, 2013

Domestic consumer switching continues to slow in Ireland, while switching by small business customers has remained stable over the past year compared with the previous one, according to the Commission for Energy Regulation’s (CER) annual consumer survey.

Among the domestic consumers surveyed, 12% of the electricity consumers switched supplier in the previous 12 months, compared to 29% in 2011 and 16% in 2012, while 14% of the gas consumers switched, compared to 18% in each of the previous two years.

Among the small and medium enterprise (SME) consumers, 15% of the electricity consumers and 16% of the gas consumers switched during the previous twelve months, compared with 14% and 16% respectively in 2012.

In both the domestic and SME sectors, switching in both the electricity and gas markets is primarily driven by cost/savings. However, among domestic consumers who switched gas supplier, a dual fuel offer was cited by a majority of switchers as a very important or important reason for switching.

Further, in both sectors, reasons for not switching focus on the lack of a compelling reason to switch, with trust and satisfaction with current supplier also identified as an important reason by a majority.

Other findings of the survey included:

  • Satisfaction with the service provided by Ireland’s electricity and gas supply businesses remains high in all segments, although the score for SME electricity suppliers has declined significantly (to 77%) since 2012
  • There is a high level of awareness of the range of competitors across the markets under consideration, and most consumers are satisfied with the current levels of competition
  • More than 80% of SME consumers found their bills easy to understand, however only 59% of domestic electricity consumers and 53% of domestic gas consumers could understand their bills
  • Among consumers not currently using prepayment, it is of interest to a quarter of consumers in the domestic electricity market and a fifth of consumers in the domestic gas market. Consumers who currently use prepayment (5% of domestic electricity consumers and 12% of domestic gas consumers) strongly preferred prepayment over standard bill pay meters.