High cost of essential bills still a major worry for Irish consumers according to the latest research from uSwitch.ie
- Half of Irish households (50%) forced togo into debt to pay their essential household bills
- 63% of Irish households have to dip into savings or accept money from family and friends to make ends meet – up from 57% on 2012 figures
- Electricity is the biggest cause for concern when it comes to utility bills – nearly half of households (45%) feel pressure as a result of this utility bill
- Over 50% of consumers feel that rising cost of energy bills is severely affecting their disposable income
The high cost of living and rising cost of energy are continuing to force Irish consumers to turn to debt to pay their essential bills, according to new research from uSwitch.ie, the independent price comparison and switching service.
Almost two thirds of Irish households (64%) have to borrow money to pay for essential household bills. Half of consumers (50%) are resorting to using credit cards and overdrafts to pay their bills, which is an increase on 2012 research figures (43%), while one in ten (10%) are using bank loans to help pay their bills. In addition, over three in five Irish households (63%) admit to dipping into savings or getting financial help from family and friends in order to meet these essential payments, which is also a 6% increase on 2012 research figures.
The findings reveal that Irish households are still struggling to stay afloat and keep on top of mounting energy bills and other utility bills, despite recent consumer outlook surveys. Consumers are continuing to struggle to find ways to raise cash for their bills however they can. The rising cost of electricity continues to prove to be the biggest bill concern for households, with nearly half of consumers (45%) feeling major financial pressure from this energy bill.
Over half of consumers (55%) also state that the rising cost of energy is still impacting greatly on their disposable income, leaving little or no extra cash or disposable income left after paying their energy bills. This further emphasises the ongoing push for consumers to shop around to ensure they are getting the best value for money on household bills and help to ease the bills burden.
Eoin Clarke, Head of uSwitch.ie, says: “These figures highlight that the high cost of energy has become increasingly unaffordable for many households. Consumers are continuing to find themselves under huge financial pressure, with the rising costs of living, rent and mortgage payments, leaving some people overwhelmed with bill worries.
“Our research shows that the average energy bill has rocketed by over €500 per year in the last three years alone, due to the increase of unit prices and standard charges. Therefore it is so important to ensure that consumers are paying the lowest possible price for their energy bills and also cut down on any unnecessary energy usage in order to save some much needed cash. Energy suppliers are currently more pro-active than ever, offering greater discounts to attract customers, like introductory offers and reduced costs for online billing and direct debit plans. There is no need to wait for group discount campaigns. Increased competition in the market has prompted energy suppliers to act quickly and launch more competitive offers. You could save as much as €343 a year just by switching energy suppliers alone.”