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Theherald

It's gas what you'll save if you switch

Sinead Ryan Consumer Champion - BILLS: Energy prices are falling but you should still shop around

YOU may have thought that, finally, energy prices were beginning to drop.

And you'd be right: wholesale electricity and gas prices have come down of late, and eventually this should filter through into the bills popping through your letterbox.

Don't get too excited though. The decreases on world energy markets amount to somewhere between 4 - 8pc- so it's hardly going to pay for your holiday this year.

But if you were actually expecting a change to your outlay, don't hold your breath. The Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) has just announced a price hike in the Public Service Obligation (PSO) Levy - the bit of your bill that supports peat-burning power stations and renewables.

It's being increased by a whopping 47pc, making the two-year increase 126pc. That means you were paying €27.84 in 2012 towards this while now you'll be charged €63.01. With VAT added, it's a household outlay of €71.52 before you pay for any electricity at all.

Getting energy costs down is not something we in Ireland can control -we import the vast bulk of our supply.

However, families can at least compare different providers in this now, deregulated market. I like using bonkers.ie for comparisons as it shows individual, and bundled deals.

You could also try uSwiteh.ie and FreetoconpareJe. If you don't shop around, you'll simply find every bill higher than the last... and who can afford that? :BILLS: Energy prices are falling but you should still shop around.

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