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I hit the low usage tariff penalty

  • 15-07-2021 9:29am
    Registered Users Posts: 1,105 ✭✭✭

    Nobody will read this as they will not be able to find it but here goes.......

    My latest EI bill just came in and shows 11 day units and 78 night units over 60 days so my bill was €9.27 + standing charges of €68.52 + vat. !

    That is the benefit/ disadvantage of solar and batteries.


  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 4,933 Mod ✭✭✭✭graememk

    Leave EI and never return.

    It's the only company with that.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,105 ✭✭✭freddyuk

    Ah but they are the only company giving me an export tariff. Once the new government tariff comes in I will have the option as I doubt it will be anywhere near what I am getting at the moment. No sign of it coming in I suspect EI will discontinue this bonus in the near future for us early adopters.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,942 ✭✭✭SD_DRACULA

    Are EI offering this to new customers or was this something they did a while back only?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,105 ✭✭✭freddyuk

    This was given some years ago (2013?) when EI and ESB offered early adopters of Solar installations an export tariff for any unused generation. ESB dropped out some years ago but EI kept it going based on an annual review and until the new tariff scheme came in. So not available now but then we didn't have any grants etc.

  • Registered Users Posts: 497 ✭✭idc

    I'm with EI still as I moved to them shortly before I decided to get solar panels, so also hit with low use tariff.

    Its not a massive issue though. at most i think i'll pay an extra 10/15 euro as it works out at approx 5.25 per billing period. It will likely only affect 4-5 months of the euro.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,761 ✭✭✭Effects

  • Registered Users Posts: 44,909 ✭✭✭✭Bobeagleburger

    Thanks for highlighting this.

    Penalising people for low usage is crazy.

    So much for climate action.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭MAULBROOK

    I just moved back to EI today, I did know about the low usage charge but the €210 cash back offer will more that cover it and then some.

    Everyone focus on the unit rates but its the charges that gets me, my lowest bill was €48 and that was all charges with next to nothing imported.

    Don't get me started on how much I exported. BTW I'm in no rush for a smart meter.

    The new Smart Tariffs are going to be like health insurance, fuxking confusing. I will hold off till i hope it starts to make some sense.

  • Registered Users Posts: 792 ✭✭✭reklamos

    I completely agree that many are focusing on rates. Also this is what the door to door sales people do. Since every PV comes with some sort of monitoring and reporting it is easy to see when an how much we use. I did my calculation back in January before switching and went with the one that had lowest charges and not the lowest rates as this made most savings.

  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 4,933 Mod ✭✭✭✭graememk

    I ran the numbers, I chose the one that saved me the most. - I had full records for jan-june, so doubled them.

    Counted everything. Turns out the EV plan was the best for me. (I'm running about 90% night)

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,867 ✭✭✭garo

    Go to and put in your usage. I went with Borg Gais even though their electricity rate was slightly higher because their gas rate is so much cheaper and I use a lot more gas than electricity since PV.

  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 4,933 Mod ✭✭✭✭graememk

    Hah, Im actually looking at EI for my dad, its the cashback that would swing it. But would get hit with a low usage for at least 2 billing cycles.

    Does anyone know if its the total kwh used? both day and night combined? Even in the winter he'll be running less than 2 day units of day rate, (plenty of night though.)

    Energia's ev plan is fixed though. where EI's is variable. If his Night rate doubles (from about 1800/yr to 3600kwh/yr) its almost level between the two. (he's waiting on a enyaq)

  • Registered Users Posts: 497 ✭✭idc

    Its day and night so if your using plenty at night it won't apply and its only 2 billing cycles in summer will only be approx an extra 10-11 euro!

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,556 ✭✭✭poker--addict

    I’m sure all these min usage charges will go up as they become relevant. It’s the easy solution for the greedy corporates, and going off grid is basically impossible in this country (dark winter)!


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 18,117 Mod ✭✭✭✭slave1

    The fixed charge should cover hard wire side of things, variable usage charges should be exactly that, variable all the way down to zero.

    Charging for not using is just so counter logic and not an incentive to move away from burning stuff

  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 4,933 Mod ✭✭✭✭graememk

    So finally switched my parents electric.

    Electric Irelands Electric Vehicle Offer: 7,500km free...

    Unit rates are 24.31 day and 12.07 night but the 7500km is a 300 euro credit. (100% "green" too ) - Not the cheapest unit rates, but for their current use (import), with solar panels and batteries the cash back was making it about

    They will likely hit the low use charge on the summer months. Last year there was only 1 period that they were under the 2kwh/day. The may-July bill. It was only about 20kwh short. If we keep an eye on it, and be good at submitting the meter readings it wont be an issue.

    They do have an Enyaq ordered, so and extra charge here and here at night should push it over! - Or even give the Niro a charge, Wont be long using that up.