People power to beat austerity?
Are our electricity prices the most shocking in Europe?
Electricity prices are set to rise again in February – by another 2per cent.
That follows a rise in the cost of electricity of approximately 3 per cent last November – adding approximately €40 a year to household bills. And that increase came on top of a €20 charge to subsidise wind and peat power.
Only a few months earlier an EU wide survey carried out by Eurostat showed that domestic electricity prices in the EU rose by 6.6% and gas prices by 10.3% between the second half of 2011 and the second half of 2012.
Another EU survey due out in May will benchmark us against other European countries – but expect us to remain near the top of the league for most expensive electricity.
The question is, does people power hold the key to a recovery for our household incomes – and a better economy?
One in eight electricity users has discovered a comparatively secret way to save money. While 14 per cent of domestic gas users know the same secret.
The secret? – It’s shopping around and switching your electric or gas supplier to get a better deal.
What is surprising is that fewer people are switching year on year. In the electricity market, 29 per cent of people switched in 2011, the highest rate ever. Since then the numbers switching has declined. The same pattern exists in the gas market, 18 per cent switched in 2011 and again in 2012
The latest consumer sentiment index – a feel good measurement – says that consumers are more willing to spend their money now than in the past six years.
KBC economist Austin Hughes says that we’re hopeful that things will improve on the jobs and economy front. But, by a majority of two to one we don’t expect our personal finances to improve.
Irish consumers have shown they have an appetite and more importantly a need for a bargain – and some see switching as the route to that bargain.
However, up to now that has always been by sole switchers.
The arrival of One Big Switch in Ireland will see a mass consumer movement that will harness people power to unlock the value of group switching.
Group switching is a proven way to save money – it has worked across Europe and in Australia.
Irish consumers have an appetite for change and switching. Now, there is a new way to campaign for a better deal.
One Big Switch will launch its first campaign for lower household bills in February, targeting gas and electricity, with the Big Energy Switch.ie campaign.
Together is better than alone!