Iresa Energy Review
Small energy supplier Iresa Energy has made a bit of name for itself by offering bargain-basement gas and electricity.
However, bargain-basement prices come with a catch and Iresa has found itself in hot water over its poor customer service.
The Nottingham-based firm was started, its website says, “because director Adeniyi Oladeji had the passion to build something special.”
Apparently, Mr Oladeji had a ‘eureka moment’: to develop a technology that reduced costs and then pass those savings onto the customer in the form of lower bills.
We won’t tell him that it’s a light-bulb moment Iresa shares with just about every other smaller supplier challenging the Big Six (and we’re not sure he cares anyway).
You probably don’t either, so let’s get stuck into who Iresa are, whether its customer service is any good and, of course, whether it can save you money in our Iresa review.
If we had you at cheap energy, compare energy suppliers now and switch to save.
Who are Iresa Energy?
Iresa Energy only hit the market in March 2016, so is still a new kid on the block.
By keeping technology in-house, the firm aims to keep costs down and, in turn, keep bills down.
Sounds simple enough.
Iresa aims to target “low energy consuming customers”, young people who are technologically savvy, living away from home and, oddly, “single”.
It doesn’t seem to be running a dating service (we checked) and, really, its goals – providing cheap energy and decent service, harnessing tech and simplifying the energy market – seem much the same as its rival challenger brands.
Are Iresa Energy cheap?
Iresa regularly features in lists of the cheapest tariffs on the market.
Its Flex 12-month fixed direct debit tariff, costing the average household roughly £833, currently trumps anything on offer from the Big Six or smaller rivals such as Avro Energy and Economy Energy.
It's around £250 cheaper than the average standard variable tariff.
In fact, Iresa is so confident that it can save you money it has published a table on its site showing you how much cheaper it is than the Big Six, depending on where you live.
In London, for example, it claims its dual fuel deal is £264.92 cheaper than British Gas, £277.87 cheaper than E.ON and £347.84 cheaper than Npower.
The big question is: can this last?
Wholesale energy prices are going up, squeezing the profit margins of smaller suppliers who are unable to buy their energy in advance.
Already, the signs are the honeymoon period for cut-price tariffs could be coming to an end. In the past six months, the cheapest energy deal on the market has shot up by £100, or 14%.
Both deals were, it’s worth saying, with Iresa. But it’s highly likely that Iresa will have to raise prices soon.
Now is the time to compare energy providers and lock your prices down with a cheap fixed deal.
But remember, a fixed deal means the price you pay per KwH is fixed for the term of the contract.
It does not stop suppliers from increasing the standing charge; although, if they did that, it would be worth kicking up a fuss about and switching – the exit fee is likely to be nothing compared to the savings.
Is Iresa Energy’s customer service any good?
Short answer: no.
In fact Iresa's customer service has been so bad lately that energy regulator Ofgem banned the company from taking on any more customers for three months, until it sorted out its customer service problems.
Recurring complaints focus on problems switching to Iresa, faulty billing, staff taking incorrect meter readings, unreturned credit and unresponsive or sub-standard service, including long hold times on phone lines.
On Facebook, Iresa has a mere 1.2 star rating.
Iresa Energy tariffs
Iresa’s current offering is the dual fuel IRESA Flex4 12month Fixed Direct Debit, which can also be bought as electricity-only.
Both plans are available as Economy 7 tariffs.
Interestingly, the supplier pays 4.5% interest on balance. It does not currently support smart meters and is not signed up to the Warm Home Discount.
How green is Iresa Energy?
It’s very difficult to say as Iresa has yet to publish its fuel mix disclosure.
We think it’s safe to say, though, that sustainable energy is pretty low down on Iresa’s priorities list.
Unlike rivals such as Bulb (read our Bulb review or Ecotricity review to find out more) or Ecotricity, there is no mention of renewables on its site and it doesn't seem to invest in any community projects.
Switching to Iresa Energy
Iresa Limited don’t take part in the Energy Switch Guarantee, which means there is less of a process in place to ensure the transfer goes smoothly.
The switch should take around 35 days after you submit your order, but a word of warning: Iresa will take the first direct debit payment just 18 days after you select your tariff.
As ever, you have a 14-day cooling off period after you first submit your order to cancel without paying a fee.
For more information on the switching process, visit our how to switch energy supplier guide.
Our Iresa review verdict:
* Very cheap
* Questionable customer service
* Small supplier so imminent price rises likely
* Limited online offering