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Examiner1

Energy prices increase by up to 33% since 2010

Consumers miss out on €370m of potential savings despite extra competition, says Bonkers.ie - Conall O Fatharta

Energy prices have jumped by almost a third in five years - despite four new suppliers entering the market. With up to 86% of households continuing to pay standard prices, consumers are missing out on potential savings of €370m per year.

According to price comparison website bonkers.ie there has been a 22% increase in electricity prices in the last five years. In 2010, households here were paying €990 a year for electricity whereas now they are paying €1,211.

Similarly, gas prices have rise by 33% since 2010, a time when consumers were paying €727 a year for gas but now the same amount costs €964. The price rises come despite the fact there is now more competition in the market - with four new suppliers coming into play since 2010.

Bonkers.ie said broadband speeds have increased by 400% in the last five years, with prices having fallen by almost 50% over the same period.

In 2010, the fastest connection available to households was 24mb per second, at a cost of €70 per month. However, thousands of homes can now access speeds of up to 100mb per second for €36 per month. With the onset on fibre capability, urban households can now access up to 240mp per second.

Bonkers.ie also pointed out that savers are earning 74% less than they did in 2010 - yet still maintain some €93bn in deposit accounts. The best interest rates have fallen from 3.5% to 1.15% in that five-year period, while Dirt has increased from 25% to 41%.

Bonkers.ie said in 2010, €10,000 on deposit returned €262.50. In 2015, the same amount yields €67.85. However, despite such poor returns on savings, there is €93.7bn on deposit with Irish banks - the highest deposit level since January 2011.

Managing director of bonkers.ie said David Kerr said the last five years have seen dramatic changes in the energy, broadband, and banking markets.

"Ireland has seen huge changes over the last five years, and as bonkers.ie has grown, we've seen dramatic changes in the markets we watch too," he said. "We've seen the rollout of fibre broadband bring much faster speeds at much better prices to households across the country.

"We've seen four new energy providers offer households a range of new deals and substantial savings; and although interest rates for savings accounts have fallen, we're now seeing the first real signs of competition from the banks since the crash - notably in mortgages."

Mr Kerr also said that, as consumers gradually overcome their reluctance to switch and take more control over their household bills, bonkers.ie has been rebuilt to ensure people can access its service across all devices and browsers.

"Bonkers.ie was launched five years ago to help householders easily find the best deals and make the most of their money," he said.

"With products now more diverse and complex than ever, bonkers.ie has stayed true to this goal, and we have already helped more than a million customers find better deals on their energy bills."

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