Home Utility Security Deposits – you might be able to avoid them
Some time ago, I wrote about ways in which you can save on your energy costs, by going online and comparing your current/future provider against the other providers who offer the same service. Not so long ago (years not months) there was only one option for energy supply in Ireland. Well one for electricity, and one for gas. Now there are plenty of options, so be sure to figure out which one is best for you. I suggest you visit both Bonkers.ie and Switcher.ie and compare the various options.
One thing I didn't talk about at the time was the need to pay a security deposit to set up these services. That is because I didn't have to, and didn't really know there was such a thing. Our newly-emigrated to Ireland member, Kate (@katemreagan), brought this to my attention a couple of weeks ago. She had to pay 300 euro to set up her electricity service! That's a stiff price to pay on top of what must have been countless other relocation fees.
There are ways by which you can avoid paying this fee altogether. The various services e.g. Bord Gais, SSE Airtricity, Energia, Electric Ireland etc, all have varying terms when it comes to paying a security deposit. I suggest that you either read their terms on their website, or use one of the 2 websites mentioned (Bonkers seemed to have the best detail), to try to avoid this fee. It seems the most common way to avoid it is to set up direct payments from your bank for the service, but this isn't always the case. I had signed up for Bord Gais' 'Level Pay' payment method, and therefore avoided this fee. note - with Level Pay they deduct the same amount every bill cycle, and then adjust based on usage periodically.
Keep in mind too that there are different terms for renters vs owners. For example Bord Gais does not require a deposit from a homeowner who signs up for direct debit, but a renter with the same terms must stump up 200 Euro.
Thanks, Kate, for the heads-up on this one.