Why isn't electricity cheaper?


OK. Brent Crude is a 44 dollars a barrel according to Bloomberg.
The Russians have turned back on the tap for natural Gas.
Industry is contracting and demanding less fuel.

Why did my electricity charge per KWh go up further in my last bill?

I can’t switch away. The only other supplier is Airtricity who charge the same standing charge and per unit charge is less than 10% cheaper. I don’t trust them as a company so I won’t switch to them for such small savings.

Focusing rant in to a discussion point:
The Irish Economy can’t compete internationally when the bare essentials that people need to survive are so outrageously expensive.


I switched over 2 or 3 years ago and have never had any problem, why would I, ESB Networks are still in charge of the electricity to my house the same way as if i were still with ESB Customer Supply.
What sort of problems did you think you’d have?

you are aware that

Then again I thought nothing of changing my phone company and my bank, so I think nothing of moving rather than have people rip me off. I must have some foreign blood in me, it’s definitely not an Irish trait to move companies.


Well, the original price increases were introduced to promote ‘competition’ in the sector. I’m not sure if it’s the same reason for these latest increases.

ESB used to sell us electricity very cheaply. They put a small premium on big business to subsidise this low cost household electricity (they made no profit on consumers)

But, when the agenda of ‘competition’ became de rigeur, ESB was forced to raise prices by the state because other companies could not compete at these prices, obviously.

I have to say that I have had some dealings with ESB over the years, and I have always been impressed by all aspects of how ESB operate, the quality and dedication of their staff (sure they’re well looked after - that’s probably why they’re so good), and the quality of the work they have done for this country, and continue to carry on.

  1. no (real) competition
  2. Public company (ESB)
  3. Its ireland


I’ve changed my bank already, have to keep eircom for line rental to use a breakout code for work but BB is not with Eircom.

Problem is Airtricity was set up to ( Mod Edit -A Long Way And Several Owners Back- Dipole) shelter tax income from M50 and accounting makes wind energy viable. I don’t trust them. I expect they will always price according to ESB tariffs and they were calling out ESB rates to me for comparission. ESB are monopoly incumbent and the only other player is not trying to win market share just undercut by a tiny percentage.


I’m not trying to persuade you either way, just giving feedback on my experience. Unfortunately I don’t work in the public sector so a 10% (8% discount approx) on ESB prices means a lot to me, electricity is one of my biggest bills. It would save over a hundred euro a year easily for me.

As regards bringing the M50 into this, thats like boycotting Irish Sugar/Siucra because you didn’t agree with the whole Johnston Mooney and O’brien scandal in Ballsbridge ini the late 80s. When companies change ownership/management, I change my opinions of them - just as I did with Roches Stores/Debenhams :imp: .

With respect to pricing against ESB, I believe ESB held the majority of the market until recently, so that makes sense. I’d be surprised if all companies did not do the same. I know when i used to get price comparisons for broadband, companies always compared against the then current incumbent - Eircom. But like i said, I don’t know how the pricing works, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the published wholesale prices, so I’m not sure how much fat Airtricity or ESB add on!


I figure I can’t save more than about 60 quid p.a. by switching away to Airtricity and that requires extra flexibility on my part in that I have to pay an equalised bill per period. I’m a motivated consumer but I just can’t justify switching away for that small a saving compared to the extra hassle that may ensue during and after the switchover. Real competition is what is needed.
less than 10% off per kwh when standing charges are so high isn’t real competition.


Why was my post edited? I didn’t say that Airtricity was currently owned by NTR. Fact is at the time NTR had more money than they knew what to do with and McCreevy was more than willing to give them and others shelter for the income so that no benefit from the M50 would accrue to the Public.
Was bad enough that they were extorting money from the public at the toll bridge every time they used it but NTR then decided they didn’t want to offer a portion of the swag to Revenue for eventual allocation to other public projects. Tax avoided would have paid for M4 tolled motorway for example.

Problem here in Ireland is people’s memories are too short. Consultancy fees are paid to deceased TDs, profits are earned and invested without being taxed, Companies are sold on, Eddie bolts for the door, Company renamed and outwardly it appears it becomes the most inoffensive company in the Country.



I’ve always found the gas bill to be the scary one. But then again, we make our own electricity don’t we. And we hand away our natural gas resources to large multinationals.


Why electricity has not fallen in line with the collapse in energy prices?

Part of the answer is probably that we have another regulator who refuses to do his job.

Another other possible reason is that the ESB has to somehow finance its crackpot Framework to 2020 plan to
“shtick deh wind turbines in deh bog”.

Financing this massive 22Bn expenditure is going to be very difficult. Ireland is viewed as toxic by
international investors. The ESB has to try telling these shell-shocked investors they need billions
to “shtick deh wind turbines in deh bog”.

Result? Consumers are already paying the price for stupidity as ESB needs their cash now.

Nuclear please. PLEASE.


My god, now i feel like i am trying to convince you, but i just want to tell you my experience rather than someone else telling you hearsay.
Yes I was offered their level payment plan or an equalised bill as you say but I declined it. It was optional, now I have the bill method as before, that is, the same as any utility company, such as Bord Gais - monthly charge based on actual or estimated meter readings.
have you being told that you HAVE to go for the level payment plan? That would be an interesting development :open_mouth:


Like a lot of the issues raised on the Pin, its because Irish people dont get off their arses and do something.

I hear it myself when I go home ‘Sure why would you want to do that’ or ‘That fellas a troublemaker’ or
‘You’ll get a name for yourself’ etc etc etc.

Another reason is that, in general, Irish people trust their institutions.
I was told once, after being annoyed by an insurance claim, that I should ‘just ring them up and explain it to them’.
As though I’d get through to the ‘man himself’ and a ‘quiet word’ would fix things; not talk to some mindless drone in a multinational call-centre in Sheffield.

In summary, Irish people are unquestioning.


Did you ever hear the like of it? Look you just give us your money and f*** off. :angry:


Equalised bill is not obligatory. The discount applied per kwh without an equalised bill is lower
ESB airtricity bill equalised bill
17.52 16.12 15.77
8.67 7.98 7.8

all plus VAT at 13.5%

VAT at 13.5% on what I consider to be an absolute necessity is another annoyance for me.



Thats exactly right. I have been banging on abouyt this lunatic ideology for years . ‘increasing prices to attract competition… why? so competition can reduce prices’

Its infeckinsane. These are the apes that run our country, no wonder we’re screwed


because the average salary in the ESB is €85,000



The problem isn’t just that they’re a monopoly, its that they’re a state monopoly with an artificial mandate to act as a commercial enterprise rather than a public utility.

They shouldn’t be making a profit other than what is required to maintain reserves for investment and maintance of the network, they should be run at cost as an essential public service for the benefit of the nation. Forget about trying to force ‘healthy competition’. If Private enterprise are so much more competitive than state utilities (as the neoliberals always declare) than they should be able to compete with them even if the state utilities are working to cost.


I refer you to the first post on this page askaboutmoney.com/showthread … 603&page=2

Also, I am given to understand that airtricity costing 10% less is purely an artificial measure designed to make people switch over and thus promote the ‘competitive’ agenda.

I’m not against competition btw. Just sometimes something works, and sometimes it doesn’t. In the case of ESB, the public monopoly model did actually work (I know it’s rare). The people there were adequately motivated without competition to deliver the best service they were capable of, in the best interests of the country. And they were proud of their work and acheivement. Much of that culture remains there to this day. Anyway, I’m sure we’ll beat it out of them. XX


Bit of a non-sequitur unless we know how much of their costs wages represent. They could just as likely be stupid enough to have bought energy contracts when they were at a much higher price.


Look, I am not anti ESB, Last Saturday Crews were out working in a storm restoring power to the Nation, great workers.

Now, my problem lies with our Energy Regulator, Its since the Regulator came along that our Electricity costs have shot through the roof. I accept that.

All thanks to Bertie and his eagerness to comply with BS EU Regulations if it means more money in his tin pot.