Home Utility Security Deposits – you might be able to avoid them

Bord Gais Bill

Bord Gais Bill

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.

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3 Helpful Comments

  1. Profile photo of Mairead

    Would the security deposit fee be the homeowner’s responsibility? We are renting.

    • Profile photo of Liam

      Nope. It’s on you. But that’s not to say that you couldn’t try to negotiate it with your landlord. Probably a long shot though.

  2. Profile photo of Kate Reagan

    To be honest, we really did not research the different utility providers. Since we are renting and deal with a property manager, they had transferred the services into our name when we signed the lease. It wasn’t until we received the bill that our jaws hit the floor. We immediately called Bord Gais to enquire about it and they explained the deposit. Since we aren’t billed monthly here, the security deposit is so high to ensure that they get paid if you fault on your payments. Where in the States,if you miss a payment, it’s just one month behind…here in Ireland it would be 3-5 months before the next billing cycle.

    When you move houses, you get the deposit back and once you have been a customer, your may not need to pay the deposit again.

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