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Bord Gáis offers free weekend electricity for homes with smart meters

DUBLIN: Bord Gáis to offer free weekend electricity for homes with smart meters installed. The Bord Gáis decision is to provide free electricity for one day each weekend to householders who have installed smart meters.

Under this offer, eligible customers will receive free electricity on Saturday or Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm. Board Gas said it will also offer customers a ‘Discount Weekend Plan’, which gives customers a night-rate all weekend. The company said this would mean a reduction in energy costs from 11pm on Friday to 8am on Monday. The offer comes shortly after the announcement of the Pinergy project, which will be powered by a pre-paid metering system.

Several energy companies have recently announced price increases. Pinergy, BE Energy and Iberdrola have been raising rates since last November. Electric Ireland, which has more than a million customers, raised its rates by 3.4% in October. This increase in the rate will add €35 per year to the average bill.

Pinergy has decided to hike electricity prices by 4.2% on April 1. The move would increase the annual cost of a typical household by €53. Last week SSE Airtricity announced that it would increase electricity prices by 6.2% from April 1. This would add up to €63 a year on average electricity bills and €32 on gas bills.

“Bord Gáis Energy’s smart bills will provide customers with key information upfront, graphs comparing their energy usage year-on-year, and helpful hints and tips to help manage their electricity,” retail director at Bord Gáis Energy Colin Bebbington said.

Smart meters are being installed in homes across the country by the ESB network. Already 2,48,397 smart meters have been installed. In January alone, 8,783 meters were installed.

According to the Commission for Regulation of Utilities, early smart meter trials show that households can reduce their electricity consumption by an average of 2.5%. At peak hours, some households were found to reduce their energy consumption by up to 9%.

By 2024, Ireland’s existing 2.3 million meters will be upgraded to smart meters. The Commission for the Regulation of Utilities also said that about 500,000 meters need to be installed each year to reach the 2.3 million target.

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