Monday 19 November 2018

We must step outside comfort zone and switch to save money on rising energy bills

Flogas Natural Gas will be increasing its unit rate price by 9.8pc, with effect from November 1, pushing up the typical gas bill by about €80 a year. (Stock)
Flogas Natural Gas will be increasing its unit rate price by 9.8pc, with effect from November 1, pushing up the typical gas bill by about €80 a year. (Stock)
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

We will change the car or opt for a new hair style sooner than we will save ourselves money by making a much more simple change. That is the depressing finding of a survey commissioned by the energy regulator.

The research found that almost a third of people would opt for a new hairstyle.

People are open to change in other ways too. They are prepared to change car every two years, and open to a different diet.

But fewer than one in five is prepared to ditch their energy company for better value. The Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (CRU) got Amárach to carry out the survey which found 53pc of people saying that they are willing to step outside of their comfort zone on a regular basis.

But not when it comes to switching energy supplier. Just one in seven households switched energy provider last year, despite having 10 different suppliers in the electricity and gas market. The average consumer can make savings of €300 a year by switching electricity and gas providers.

CRU commissioner Aoife MacEvilly said that if a customer had switched to the best available discount tariff each year for the past four years they could potentially have saved up to €1,146 on electricity in the four years.

The savings on gas over the four-year period amounts to €670, and €1,417 on dual fuel. It comes as households have been warned of an 'energy winter of discontent' after Flogas announced an increase in its prices for the second time in three months.

Flogas Natural Gas will be increasing its unit rate price by 9.8pc, with effect from November 1, pushing up the typical gas bill by about €80 a year.

A spokesman for price comparison website Bonkers.ie said this hike was the second in the space of months for hard-pressed consumers.

A number of suppliers including Energia, SSE Airtricity, and Electric Ireland have all hiked their energy prices in recent months.

A second round of hikes is now expected.

MacEvilly said the survey results show that people are open to change in a general sense. The research found that 36pc of respondents say they would change their car, 35pc would change their diet and 27pc would change their hairstyle in a two-year period.

And the good news is that the levy on all domestic electricity bills has fallen from this week. The PSO (public service obligation) levy is decreasing by €57.

But if we want to make real savings, then forget about changing the car or going for a different hairstyle.

Switch your energy supplier. It will do wonders for your bank balance with the cold nights on the way.

Sunday Indo Business

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