Irish energy consumers can save €200m per year, says Airtricity

2 Nov 2011

Model and stylist Lisa Fitzpatrick and her children were photographed today with Captain Energy, Airtricity's new energy mascot, as part of the company's new integrated marketing campaign. Image: Fennells

Irish energy supply company Airtricity is asserting that households in Ireland can save up to €100 per annum if they cut their annual energy use by just 10pc. Added up, this would be the equivalent to a nationwide saving in Ireland of up to €200m every year. The company has also released some energy-saving tips.

Airtricity is basing its calculations on two million domestic households with a typical annual electricity bill of around €1,000 reducing energy consumption by 10pc.

With the utility companies in Ireland having been forced to hike their electricity prices in October, energy supply companies such as Airtricity are aiming to get consumers on-board.

Captain Energy

The company, which also operates in the renewable energy space, has launched an integrated marketing campaign fronted by a new customer champion, Captain Energy – “your ally in managing energy bills”, according to Airtricity.

Revealing the campaign, the company today encouraged Irish consumers to make small changes to their energy behaviour in order to make significant savings to their energy bills.

As part of its efforts to win customers in Ireland’s competitive electricity and natural gas marketplace, up against utilities such as Bord Gáis, ESB Electric Ireland and Flogas, Airtricity has introduced a new two-year contract scheme (More on this below).

Airtricity is also claiming that it has now emerged as Ireland’s cheapest supplier of electricity and dual fuel energy products for the home. Airtricity is asserting that its 16pc discounted electricity product (in comparison to Airtricity standard rates) is 18pc cheaper than ESB Electric Ireland standard rates and almost 13pc cheaper than the recently deregulated semi-state’s best introductory rates.

People can also compare natural gas and electricity prices on sites such as

All new customers who switch to Airtricity’s cheapest online tariff will also receive a free Airtricity Home Energy Monitor, which the company says helps consumers to take greater control of their energy consumption, and use less energy – translating into reductions in their energy bills.

However, people must switch to Airtricity under a two-year contract. New customers switching to electricity or a dual fuel (gas and electricity) bundle from Airtricity will receive a free Airtricity Home Energy Monitor when they switch at to Airtricity’s cheapest online tariff (based on two-year fixed discount product, paying by direct debit and ebill), explained the company today.

Airtricity Home Energy Monitor

Last Friday morning Airtricity featured on Ireland AM on TV3 when a representative from the company gave a demo of how the Airtricity Home Energy Monitor works. For instance, people can calculate how much energy they are using when they are doing the ironing, and in turn do such chores when electricity is cheaper, ie at off-peak times.

However, the Airtricity representative said on the show that the Airtricity Home Energy Monitor might not be as suitable for people living in apartments, as it could be more suitable for homes.

Taking small action to reduce energy consumption

“Managing household bills is a struggle for a lot of people at the moment but many consumers do not understand that small actions like switching appliances off at the wall and turning off lights can make a huge difference to their energy consumption and costs,” said Stephen Wheeler, Airtricity managing director, today.

“By cutting our annual home energy use by up to 10pc each household can save up to €100 per annum. At Airtricity we want to help customers realise these savings and our new Airtricity Home Energy Monitor will provide customers with the real-time energy-use information that will encourage changes in behaviour to significantly reduce annual energy costs.”

Captain Energy will grace our TV screens this week

Captain Energy, who is part of Airtricity's new integrated marketing campaign

Through an integrated marketing campaign combining TV and print advertising, promotional activity on TV3, online activity and PR, Captain Energy will deliver energy saving tips and advice to assist householders in their battle to control their energy budgets, Airtricity confirmed today.

Airtricity’s energy-saving tips

  • Install an Energy Monitor: You can save up to 10% on the cost of your total electricity usage costs by installing an Airtricity Energy Monitor which will update you on your energy spend at any given time, helping you to identify your household ‘energy hogs’ and encouraging you to turn off appliances that are not in use.
  • Lighting: In a typical home about 10-15% of electricity costs are for lighting. Always switch off the lights when you leave a room and remember that energy saving light bulbs will cut costs by up to 80%.
  • Heating: Make sure your radiators are unobstructed to allow the heat to circulate and if to room is warm enough, turn down your thermostat. Ensure your gas boiler is serviced annually for optimum results.
  • Washing:  Ensure that you have a full load when using the washing machine and consider dropping the temperature in order to significantly reduce energy consumption. In addition, avoid using the dryer where possible but if you must, make sure that the clothes have gone through a spin cycle and are as dry as possible to reduce drying time.  
  • Cooking:  Choose the correct size burner/ring to match the saucepan you are using and only heat the amount of water you need. Putting a lid on the saucepan will help the water come to the boil quicker, and boiling the water in a kettle first will save time and energy once you don’t overfill the kettle.
  • Fridges:  In order to keep your fridge working as energy-efficiently as possible, make sure you defrost it regularly, avoid keeping the door open for long periods of time and never put warm food in it. 
  • Stereo and TV: Switch off your stereo and TV at the unit rather than using a remote control as appliances left on stand-by are still using electricity.
  • Home Office: Setting your computer to hibernate instead of turning it off means that it does not use as much energy reloading everything when it is turned back on. Printers should always be turned off and chargers unplugged when not in use.

Airtricity’s renewable energy portfolio

Airtricity supplies over half a million domestic and commercial gas, electricity and home energy services customers.

For the second year in a row RepTrak has ranked Airtricity the Most Reputable Energy Supply Company in Ireland. (2011 and 2010 Ireland RepTrak Study).

This year Airtricity also won the prestigious Green Energy Award for the third year running. Almost one quarter (24pc) of the electricity Airtricity supplies to its customers is generated from renewable sources – twice that of its nearest commercial competitor and twice that of the total amount of renewables generated on an all-island basis, says Airtricity.

The generation of the electricity supplied to all Airtricity customers results in 31pc less CO2 emissions per MWh than the energy supplied to the average customer on the island of Ireland, according to the company.

SSE powers Airtricity with renewable energy. Over 500MW of renewable energy from 26 wind farms powers Airtricity’s greener electricity supply – including power from Ireland’s largest wind farm, the 84MW Meentycat Wind Farm in Co Donegal.

Airtricity is a wholly owned division of the Top 40 FTSE listed SSE Group plc, a utility in Ireland and the UK.

SSE supplies electricity, gas and home services to 10m homes and businesses.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic