Eoin Clarke, Managing Director of Switcher.ie says: “Switcher.ie welcomes the Government’s plans to invest in energy efficiency, renewable energy and the Affordable Energy Strategy, but right now fuel poverty is affecting many homes all over the country and more needs to be done to tackle this problem.
“Our independent research shows that 61% of Irish families felt cold in their homes last winter and 69% of people have rationed their energy use during winter months in an attempt to cut costs. Fuel poverty remains a serious problem for many, it’s totally unacceptable that people are forced to choose between their health and being able to afford energy.
“It is vital this situation improves so consumers can afford to heat their homes. Applications to the Better Energy Home Scheme are up by 78% and we hope to see this figure continue to rise. Switcher.ie encourages households to check if they are eligible to avail of these grants as it could mean a valuable reduction to their energy costs.
“The fuel allowance increase of €2.50 a week will not drastically reduce levels of fuel poverty or ease the financial pressure on Ireland’s pensioners. Ireland remains an expensive country to grow old in where people continuously have to choose between necessities such as heat, food or other essentials.
“This Budget has failed to reinstate the telephone allowance as part of the household benefits package. Often it is the most vulnerable in society that are the most isolated and this support would have eased financial pressure on cash-strapped households.
“It is good news that the National Broadband Plan remains a priority for Government as it is an important step towards making broadband, now regarded as an essential service, available to all, rather than most. Access to high speed broadband is not happening fast enough in isolated, rural areas so it is vital that the investment in broadband infrastructure is targeted at bringing all areas up to speed as fast as possible and tackling broadband black spots.”
Switcher.ie launched in January 2013, with the aim of offering consumers free, independent and impartial price comparison and switching services. Switcher aims to make it easier for Irish households to compare prices, save money on their regular bills, get the best deals on offer and make their hard-earned money go that bit further.
For more information visit www.Switcher.ie
For further information please contact:
Eoin Clarke, Switcher on 01 517 5920 / 086 8245800 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Switcher is a free, impartial, online comparison and switching service, helping consumers compare prices on gas, electricity, home broadband and digital television. Switcher is accredited by the Commission for Energy Regulation as an impartial, accurate and independent supplier of domestic energy price comparisons. Switcher is a member of Guaranteed Irish. Switcher has helped thousands of satisfied customers save money on their household bills since it was founded in 2013.
Switcher is owned by Forward Internet Ireland Limited, a privately funded internet-based business focused on consumer engagement and innovation.