As the first quarter of 2022 draws to a close, we have decided to take a look back on the biggest news and announcements seen between January and March.
Some of these changes have been welcomed while others have been opposed for the challenges they bring to people's lives.
The world of energy has gone through some huge changes, from price increases to companies leaving the market.
We looked at the big stories and even made some useful guides to help you lower your energy bill costs.
- The Government approved a new micro-generation scheme which will pay homeowners a nice sum of money for their unused renewable energy.
- In January, energy supplier Bright Energy announced it would leave the Irish market.
- In February, we launched our first Quickstart guide series. This series outlines how you can compare, switch, and save money on your energy bills on bonkers.ie.
- This next one is special as bonkers.ie was accredited by the CRU for the ninth year in a row! The CRU also released a survey that confirmed that the number of people using price comparison websites is increasing.
- Energy providers Bord Gáis, Energia, Electric Ireland, Prepay power, and Iberdrola all increased their prices, which left many people wondering if it was still worthwhile switching energy suppliers.
- As energy prices increased across the board, we investigated what supports are available for people struggling to pay their gas and electricity bills.
Broadband, TV and Phone
There were new broadband deals announced, companies expanding into the mobile market, and price increases for streaming services.
See what you’ve missed and read our guide on how to save money on your broadband.
- Virgin Media began the new year with a series of seasonal deals across their broadband, TV and phone services, including their popular €5 SIM-only deal.
- TV and broadband provider Sky announced in March that they will enter the Irish mobile market in 2023, however, prices and plans haven’t been made public yet.
- In March, Netflix announced a price increase of up to 17% for their Irish subscribers, making Ireland the most expensive place in the world to pay for Netflix.
- With the price of living costs on the rise, we published a guide on how you can cut the cost of your broadband bill in 5 simple ways. To help you on this journey we defined the 21 most common broadband terms you may encounter.
Quarter 1 was dominated by car insurance-related news as the price of buying and servicing a car increased.
We also published some guides that provided a greater insight into home and life insurance queries.
- In January we investigated why used car prices had risen by 56% since the beginning of the pandemic. In response, we published a helpful guide on how to cut your driving costs.
- In February, bonkers.ie launched its new car insurance service. You can read more about the service here. We also published an 8-part series on how you can get better value cover for your car.
- We published a step-by-step guide on how to get cheaper home insurance on bonkers.ie and outlined what specified items cover is.
- Zurich announced a 20% discount off certain types of life cover that will run until May 5th. To help you along the journey to better value life insurance, we explained the 8 most common terms you may encounter.
- We wrote about additional types of life insurance you can add to your policy such as indexation and convertible term life insurance.
The past 3 months alone have seen quite a few developments in the world of banking that are sure to affect many people.
These are the top stories of 2022 so far:
- EBS announced in January that it would be performing a strategy review of its operations in light of some changes in the banking world.
- Revolut was given a European banking licence for Ireland, meaning the fin-tech can now provide personal loans and credit cards to customers.
- With KBC and Ulster Bank set to leave the country, we compiled a list of the top 8 considerations you should keep in mind when selecting a new bank to open your current account with.
- We were curious to find out which banks have the best mobile app (and worst). Find out how your bank compares.
- Discover how easy it is to compare savings accounts on bonkers.ie so that you can get the best return of your savings today.
The beginning of the year saw inflation rise dramatically nationwide. Dubbed by many as the cost of living crisis, we have seen price increases across everyday expenses such as food, energy and transport costs.
- On January 4th the cost of alcohol in supermarkets and off-licences rose as the Government's Minimum Unit Pricing plan (MUP) came into effect, while in February An Post increased the price of standard and international stamps.
- We outlined the different steps the Government has taken to ease the financial strain felt by Irish households this year. However, we also examined how the Government’s taxes are adding to household bills.
- In February, the bonkers.ie National Consumer Awards for 2022 took place. You can discover what companies won awards on the night here.
- We investigated the different reasons why Ireland is so expensive and what is causing inflation to rise. To help alleviate this pressure on consumers, we outlined what you do to save money on your household expenses on bonkers.ie
- According to a recent survey by Standard Life Retirement Pulse, women's pensions are worth half of men's for one critical reason.
For those wanting to buy energy-efficient homes, quarter 1 saw a series of positive announcements regarding green mortgage rates.
In contrast, standard mortgage rates fluctuated during this period, to discover more about these topics read our articles and guides below.
- In an attempt to tackle the national housing crisis, a substantial grant is available for first time buyers who are interested in renovating derelict properties in urban areas. No planning permission will be required for those interested.
- Both Bank of Ireland and Haven announced they were lowering their green mortgage rates. Haven now has the lowest green rate on the market and second-lowest standard rate overall.
- In February, EBS launched its first green mortgage rate, making the mortgage market more competitive.
- In March, ICS, which once had some of the lowest interest rates on the market, announced an immediate increase to its fixed rates for its new customers.
- We created a guide on when is the best time to switch your mortgage to help you on your switching journey.
Lower your household expenses with bonkers.ie
The cost of living in Ireland increased throughout the first quarter of 2022, especially in relation to gas and electricity prices which put a big financial strain on Irish households.
So start your comparison and switching journey today and discover how you could cut €7,000 off your annual household expenses with bonkers.ie