We begin this week with some less than positive news – according to the Irish Times‘ Conor Pope, 2015 will be the year when Irish consumers begin paying for things that were once free at some point over the last ten years.
Pope notes that the introduction of water charges, for example, could result in a maximum charge of €160 per annum for a single occupancy household. And then there’s parking – according to his calculations if your car spends just two hours in a Dublin parking space each week, it could set you back €200 each year (and watch out for the clampers).
Writing in the Irish Independent this week, Charlie Weston has called for sensible savers to be given a break. Weston quotes figures from the Central Bank that show that total household savings are approaching €93bn, despite Government measures designed to coax people to withdraw and spend their money, such as deposit interest retention tax (DIRT) of 41%. Weston argues that the time has come for the State to stop undermining people who keep potential rainy days in mind, and it’s hard to disagree.
In other news, Panda Power, a branch of waste management company Panda, has joined the Irish energy market, alongside an 18% discount on their rates. This, unsurprisingly, has led to a response from Energia in the form of a 19% discount on their own electricity-only standard rates for new customers.
Switcher.ie Managing Director Eoin Clarke said: “Increased competition in the electricity market means more choice for consumers. For a number of years Irish energy customers have endured price hikes. New entrants in the energy market are sparking price wars, and we are delighted to see Panda Power entering the Irish electricity market with a competitive offering that could reap savings of €160 for consumers switching from the average electricity standard price plan on the market.”
But he also noted that while Panda Power have the cheapest electricity unit rate in the Irish market, when examined on an annual basis there’s only a €1 difference in the cost. “Bord Gáis Energy and Electric Ireland can yield households greater savings when introductory bonus payments are taken into account. The message for household remains the same, regular switching saves money,” he said.