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Electric Ireland NI: Compare rates & top up online

Electric Ireland NI is one of five electricity suppliers in Northern Ireland. Until 2015, it only supplied business energy, but since branching out into the domestic market it has gained 1.2 million residential customers. As one of the cheapest suppliers in Northern Ireland, it offers a good range of standard and pay as you go energy plans.


Electricity: Renewables, Natural gas, Coal, Peat Good value for money with some of the cheapest prices on the market
Fuel mix score: ★★★ Tailored business energy solutions
Domestic Market: Northern Ireland Top Northern Ireland electricity supplier in Which? 2018 and 2019 survey
Customers: 1.2 million (residential) Poor customer reviews regarding customer service
Selectra score: ★★★ Low use of renewable energy

About Electric Ireland NI

Based in Belfast, Electric Ireland NI is the Northern Ireland arm of Ireland’s most well-known electricity supplier, Electric Ireland. It is part of ESB Network, which used to be the only electricity company in Ireland.

The company in charge of Northern Ireland’s electricity transmission network (Northern Ireland’s equivalent to the British national grid) is owned by Northern Ireland Electricity Networks, another arm of ESB.

Electric Ireland NI is the supplier side of ESB in Northern Ireland, selling electricity directly to households. Until 2011, they were known as ESB Customer Supply/ESB Independent Energy.

Today, Electric Ireland NI offers prepayment and credit billing electricity plans to households across Northern Ireland and currently boasts around 1.2 million customers, making it one of the country’s biggest suppliers of electricity.

Who supplies electricity in Northern Ireland?

Electricity in Northern Ireland is supplied by a total of five energy providers. These are:

Rates, prices and tariffs

Electric Ireland NI currently offers seven different electricity tariffs for residential customers: a standard credit tariff with an Economy 7 option, a pay as you tariff with an economy 7 option, a fixed-rate tariff, and a standard and Economy 7 plan specifically designed for farmers.

In the table below we have outlined the current Electric Ireland NI rates and details for each energy plan.

Electric Ireland NI rates
Name of plan Day unit rate per kWh (in. VAT at 5%) Night unit rate per kWh (in. VAT at 5%) Standing charge Plan features
Simpler Living 24 Hour Standard (Billpay) 18.34p n/a n/a
  • £40 switching bonus
  • £5 direct debit discount on first bill
  • £5 online billing discount on first bill
Simpler Living Economy 7 (Billpay) 18.70p 9.11p 7.98p
  • £40 switching bonus
  • £5 direct debit discount on first bill
  • £5 online billing discount on first bill
Simpler Living 24 hour Keypad (Pay as you go) 18.34p n/a n/a
  • £20 switching bonus
  • £20 bonus after 12 months
Simpler Living Economy 7 Keypad (Pay as you go) 18.70p 9.11p 7.98p
  • £20 switching bonus
  • £20 bonus after 12 months
Simpler Living 10% Discount Term 16.51p n/a n/a
  • 12-month contract, after which will be switched to Simpler Living 24 Hour Standard (Billpay) plan
  • Only available to online billing and direct debit customers
Farm Popular Price Plan 15.88p n/a 9.40p
  • 12-month contract with exit notice period of 3 months
Farm Nightsaver Price Plan 16.78p 9.05p 9.40p
  • 12-month contract with exit notice period of 3 months

*correct as of April 2020

Electric Ireland NI’s Economy 7 peak and off-peak times are different depending on the time of the year. In the winter, the night rate applies from 1am to 8am, and in the summer it applies from 2am to 9am.

Customers on standard plans (Simpler Living 24 Hour Standard, Simpler Living Economy 7 and the Farm Popular Price Plan) must pay a security deposit if they do not wish to pay by direct debit. This will be refunded after 12 months, providing your account is up to date and you do not have any outstanding payments. The deposit totals £135 for regular customers and £200 for customers on the farmer plan.

Who is the cheapest electricity supplier in Northern Ireland?

Electric Ireland NI sells itself as Northern Ireland’s cheapest electricity option, but how does it truly stack up against other energy companies?

According to data collected by Consumer Council NI, based on the typical annual household consumption of 3,200kWh, Electric Ireland does offer some of the cheapest prices in Northern Ireland for standard plans and pay as you go plans.

Standard pay monthly tariffs
Energy Provider Tariff Payment method Annual cost
Click Energy Bill Pay 24h Pay on receipt of bill £608
Budget Energy Bill Pay Standard 24 Hr Direct Debit & post £601
Power NI Standard Rate Pay on receipt of bill £600
Electric Ireland NI Standard Billpay Pay on receipt of bill £587
SSE Airtricity Home Electricity Non Direct Debit & post £581

*figures based on Jan 2020 data

Standard pay as you go plans
Energy Provider Tariff Payment method Annual cost
SSE Airtricity SSE Airtricity Standard Pay as you go £639
Click Energy Keypad 24h Pay as you go £616
Budget Energy Keypad Standard 24 hr Pay as you go £597
Electric Ireland NI Standard Keypad Pay as you go £585
Power NI Keypad Discount Pay as you go £585

*figures based on Jan 2020 data

Is Electric Ireland cheaper than Power NI?

Based on the data above, Electric Ireland NI is cheaper than Power NI based on the suppliers’ standard pay monthly tariffs. When it comes to pay as you go tariffs, Power NI comes out slightly cheaper, but only by £3 cheaper. Electric Ireland NI offers cheaper Economy 7 rates overall than Power NI (Day rate per kWh: 18.71p; Night rate per kWh 9.11; Standing charge per day: 7.98p vs. Day rate per kWh: 18.11p; Night rate per kWh 10.13; Standing charge per day: 8.89p).

Overall, Electric Ireland is the cheaper supplier and has been voted better value for money than Power NI by customers.

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Business plans

Electric Ireland UK claims to be the market leader for business energy solutions in Northern Ireland. The supplier tailors its business energy solutions to each client.

It offers resources for large, high-energy consuming businesses, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises, with plans for 9-to-5 offices, businesses that are open at weekends (restaurants, for example) and firms that use energy heavily at night.

Top up

Customers on one of the Electric Ireland pay as you go plans will need to top up their credit when it runs low. This can be done in four ways: top up online; top up via the app; top up in-store; and top up over the phone.

1. Electric Ireland NI top up online

gas meter

There are two ways to perform the top up process online. Firstly, you can log in to your Electric Ireland NI online account and top up through your account. This is probably the easiest way as you can save all of your details so future top ups are completed with just a few clicks.

The other online top up option is to do so without logging in. For this, you will need to provide your keypad meter number and payment details every time you top up.

2. Top up app

The Electric Ireland app allows you to perform all top ups from your mobile phone or tablet. The app is available for both Android and Apple devices from the Google Play and App Store respectively.

Log in with your pay as you go details and you can top up in just a few seconds whenever suits you!

3. In-store

Another option is to perform the Electric Ireland NI keypad top up in your nearest PayPoint store. You will need to take your meter key to the store, as the shop assistant to top it up, and then insert your key into your meter to transfer the new credit over.

4. Top up over the phone

Electric Ireland also has a 24/7 automated phone top up service. Just ring 0345 600 5335 to complete the top up process.

The minimum top up amount for Electric Ireland NI is £5, and the maximum is £150. Customers must always to up to the nearest full pound, e.g. £5, £6, £7, not £5.50 etc.

Emergency credit

Electric Ireland NI emergency credit is available when you run out of credit but are unable to top up. The credit is only £1, but it will ensure your supply doesn’t get cut off as soon as you run out.

To access the credit, just press any button on your meter to turn off the meter alarm (this will automatically sound when your credit drops low).

Remember: any emergency credit used will be taken off your next top up.

Electric Ireland NI reviews

Electric Ireland NI reviews online vary widely across platforms. On the review site Which? the provider performs quite well. In the 2018 survey, it tied in first place with Budget Energy as the region’s number one supplier, and in 2019 it topped the board again. With a customer service score of 66%, its highest marks were for value for money and bill accuracy.

Which? 2019 Electric Ireland NI review
Category
Star rating out of 5
Bill accuracy
★★★★
Bill clarity
★★★
Value for money
★★★★
Customer service
★★★
Digital tools
★★★
Complaints handling
★★★

Unfortunately, on Trustpilot and Google reviews, Electric Ireland reviews are not so positive. With a poor rating of 1.9/5 and 2.6/5 respectively, customers mainly complain about poor customer service.

The customer service is awful; takes hours to reach them and even more time to solve the problem.

Login and account management

The Electric Ireland online account system lets all customers manage their energy tariff from their computer. Services include:

  • Submit meter readings
  • Make top-up payments
  • Receive online billing discount by paying bills online
  • Track energy use overtime to find energy-saving habits

To sign in, you simply need to enter the email address and password associated with your account.

If you don’t have an account, it’s very easy to set one up. On the login page, click sign up now to register for an account. You will need to provide the following information:

  • Email address (this needs to be the one you provided when you signed up for an Electric Ireland NI tariff)
  • A password (this needs to be at least eight characters long, and contain one number, one upper-case and one-lower case character
  • Last 4 digits of your phone number
  • Your Electric Ireland NI account number
  • Last 6 digits of your Meter Point Reference Number (MPRN)

Smartphone App

As we mentioned earlier, the Electric Ireland NI app is available from the Google Play and App Store for all pay as you go customers. This allows you to manage your account and top up from your mobile phone.

Meter Readings

Electric Ireland meter readings can be submitted online through the customer portal, or over the phone by calling customer service on 0345 600 5335.

Fuel Mix

All UK energy suppliers are required to report their fuel mix to the public in an effort to encourage the use of renewable energy.

Unlike in the rest of the UK, NI fuel mixes do not include electricity generated by nuclear power stations, as they are prohibited on the island. However, with Ireland importing energy from the UK and EU, some of Ireland’s energy is generated by nuclear plants.

So what does the Electric Ireland NI fuel mix look like? With 55.1% of its electricity coming from natural gas, this is the supplier’s largest energy source.

When it comes to green energy, sourcing just 35% of its electricity from sustainable sources, Electric Ireland NI uses less than Ireland’s average of 48.9%, but more or less matches the average of UK energy suppliers.

Smart Meters

Northern Ireland is a bit behind the rest of the UK in its rollout of smart meters, with their roll out only starting in 2019. From the end of 2019, Electric Ireland in the Republic of Ireland has started to replace normal meters with smart meters.

Unfortunately, there is no information regarding smart meters on the Electric Ireland UK website, so we assume this service is not yet available for Northern Irish customers.

Discounts and grants

As mentioned in the rates and prices section, most Electric Ireland NI tariffs come with discounts for paying by direct debit and signing up for digital bills, as well as just switching to the supplier in the first place (£40 for standard customers and £20 for pay as you go customers).

As well as these discounts, let’s see if the supplier offers some of the government grants that most big suppliers in the UK offer their customers.

1. Warm Home Discount

The Warm Home Discount is a UK Government scheme that deducts money from electricity bills during the colder winter months. Unfortunately, the Warm Home Discount is not available to households in Northern Ireland and is therefore not offered by Electric Ireland NI or any other supplier in the region.

2. Winter Fuel Payment

Unlike the Warm Home Discount, the Winter Fuel Payment (also known as the fuel allowance) is available to households in Northern Ireland. It is another government scheme designed to discount energy bills during the colder winter months.

At either £200 or £300, depending on your circumstances, the payment amount is greater than the Warm Home Discount and recipients have reported fewer hoops to jump through in order to claim it.

The rules of who can apply and how are somewhat complex; if you’re interested in receiving the discount check out our comprehensive fuel allowance guide. Payments are compatible with the Household Benefits programme, so eligible households could benefit from both schemes.

Contact Electric Ireland NI

There are a number of different Electric Ireland NI contact methods available, including phone, email and social media. In the table below we have outlined some of the supplier’s main contact details.

Contact number 0345 600 5335 (Monday to Friday 8:30am-7pm)
Email address customerservice@electricireland.com
Electric Ireland NI address Electric Ireland, 1st Floor, 1 Cromac Quay,
The Gasworks, Belfast BT7 2JD, Northern Ireland
Social media

For more information on how to contact the company, such as who to call in an emergency and how to place a complaint, visit our dedicated Electric Ireland NI contact page. If you can't get in touch with the supplier, try giving Selectra call on 02039 360059. Our agents can offer expert energy advice and help you get your problems solved.

Moving house

If you’re moving into or out of an Electric Ireland UK household, be sure to let the supplier know by calling 0345 600 5335. Once on the line, you’ll be able to:

  • Transfer your account to your new residence
  • Close your current Electric Ireland NI account
  • Switch your new home to an Electric Ireland electricity tariff

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