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Image Your monthly round-up: February 2020
Image Rob Flynn
Staff Writer

Welcome to your second monthly newsletter of 2020!

February was an exciting month on all fronts, from personal finance to politics, and the natural world was no different as we ushered in a welcome stretch in the evening - more sun in Ireland is always a welcome sight!

The beginning of February was markedly political and bore witness to a landmark change in both the polls and the history of the Republic as Sinn Féin took home the largest first preference vote in the general election. And as the political establishment was rocked here in Ireland, so too was the international stock market by the ongoing threat of the Coronavirus, with the markets only beginning to steady in the last couple of days.

But before we spring into March and enjoy more daylight savings, let's take some time to reflect on any personal finance news you might have missed with some of the biggest stories that happened in the worlds of energy, broadband, banking, and more!

Without further ado, your February newsletter!

The announcement that Eir will start charging for its email service was the first big piece of news to come from the world of broadband, TV and phone in February.February was a hectic month all round and the world of energy was no exception!

Firstly we learned that the wholesale price of gas and electricity has fallen dramatically in recent months, which prices down around 50% year-on-year. You can read the full story here.

On the back of falling wholesale prices, Flogas launched its new Spring Saver and Spring Saver Cashback deals which will see customers receive huge discounts as well as cashback on their energy bills when they sign up to any of the available plans.

Not to be outdone, Electric Ireland was the first supplier to put some money back in customers’ pockets as it announced a price reduction across its residential gas and electricity prices.

Finally, we saw further great bargains on offer, this time from SSE Airtricity, which is offering customers the next generation of smart home devices when they sign up to one of its Smart Home single or dual fuel bundles.

There was, however, some good news for broadband customers from Digiweb which announced the expansion of its SIRO-powered fibre broadband into yet more parts of the country, including parts of Connacht, Munster, and Leinster - get the full story here.

In more good news, Eir was the latest provider to slash its prices on broadband, TV and phone, making it the cheapest provider for those seeking big savings. See what you could save with Eir here.

On foot of the recent price changes from Eir, we decided to take a look again at some of the best broadband-only deals currently available from all the main providers. So if you’re on the lookout for a new deal, make sure to give it a read.

Meanwhile, in mortgage land, KBC followed Ulster Bank in mid-February by cutting a number of its three and five-year fixed-rate mortgages in a continuation of the ongoing price war being waged between mortgage lenders.

Then the last week of the month saw yet another bank follow suit, this time Ireland’s largest mortgage lender, AIB. Like Ulster Bank and KBC it introduced further reductions across a range of its three and five-year fixed rates.

And if you’re wondering whether you should choose a fixed rate or a variable rate, check out one of our top read articles, which discusses the pros and cons between the two.

The latest data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed that the price of car insurance premiums is falling, contrary to what a lot of people continue to pay - you can get fully up-to-date on that here.

Want to save money on your car insurance and be more savvy when renewal time comes around? Have a read of this article in which we debunk 15 of the most common car insurance myths.

It’s one thing to be climate-conscious but implementing changes that will make a real difference can be difficult, especially when trying to base them around your daily routine.

That’s why this month we thought carefully about our own impact on the environment and brought you 12 ways to reduce your carbon footprint and save money.

In February our Head of Communications, Daragh Cassidy spoke to Jerry O’Sullivan on Kerry Today, along with Conor Faughnan from the AA, to look at why consumers aren’t seeing savings on their energy bills despite falling wholesale fuel prices.

You can listen back to the informative interview here.

We’re giving away two premium tickets for Harry Styles’ upcoming show on 19th April in the 3Arena. To be in with a chance of winning keep an eye on our social media channels: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, to find details on how to enter!

Our deal of the month for February is from...Eir! For a limited time it is offering 100Mbps broadband, Eir TV with Apple TV, a home phone package, a SIM-only mobile deal with 40GB of data a month, the Eir Sport pack, and an Amazon Prime Video subscription for just €49.97 per month for the first 12 months. Can't ask for much more than that!

The bonkers.ie National Consumer Awards 2020 took place on Thursday 27th February and we are delighted to say it turned out to be a great evening in the Round Room at the Mansion House.

Since their inception, the Awards have always been about celebrating companies that provide exceptional value and service to customers in Ireland, and this year was no exception. Take a look at the winners on the night below!

Best rewards or loyalty programme - Vodafone

Best energy price plan (new customers) - Electric Ireland

Best billpay mobile phone plan - GoMo

Best community or charity engagement - Vodafone

Best mortgage for switchers - Ulster Bank

Best bundle - eir

Best prepay mobile phone plan - Vodafone

Best marketing campaign - Permanent TSB

Best customer innovation - Virgin Media

Best energy price plan (existing customers) - Flogas

Best term insurance - Zurich

Best first-time buyer mortgage - Permanent TSB

Best mortgage protection - Royal London

Best customer service - SSE Airtricity

Best broadband - Vodafone

Grand Prix: best consumer business 2020 - Vodafone

Tip of the month

This month we're trying to break a habit in the bonkers.ie office. That's why we're only using reusable cups when purchasing our morning coffee.

Although there are some recyclable options out there, the vast majority of takeaway cups go straight into the bin and go to landfill. So why not make it your business to be sustainable? 

Did you know?

According to the Central Statistics Office there was a 13.5% increase in residential gas consumption in 2018.

Why bonkers.ie?

With energy prices falling it's well worth your while to switch and save. Right now the average energy user can save up to 381 when they change energy supplier - see what you could save today by comparing with bonkers.ie.

We hope you enjoyed your February bulletin. If there are any topics you’d like us to cover on our blog, just tweet us @bonkers_ie with your suggestions.

To get up-to-date news about price changes and tips on how to lower your household bills, join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.