Your monthly round-up: August 2018
Robyn Hamilton
Staff Writer

Absolutely everything you missed in personal finance in August 2018!

It’s been a quiet enough month here at as we say goodbye to the last vestiges of summer but all that’s about to change as back to school season, shorter days and colder weather are on the way!

Here’s your August bulletin; a quick monthly round-up of the latest news and savings tips from the worlds of energy, broadband, banking and more.

Let’s get to it!

So, back at the beginning of the month all of those nasty price hikes we talked about last month came into effect, meaning that pretty much everyone in the country is going to see a significant increase in their energy bills this autumn - that is unless you’re eligible to switch!

Switching energy suppliers every 12 months is still the quickest and easiest way to offset price hikes and always ensure that you’re never overpaying when it comes to your energy bills.

This is because all of the energy suppliers offer specially discounted rates for new customers and these discounts last for the duration of a 12-month contract. Therefore, if you switch to become a new customer every 12 months, you’ll always be on a discounted rate. Simple! Right now, a customer on typical standard rates could save an average of €289 by taking 5 minutes to switch over to a new supplier. What are you waiting for?

It’s not all doom and gloom however, as the CRU also announced that it will be decreasing the PSO levy - a mandatory fee charged to all electricity customers in Ireland - by 56% for the 2018/19 period! The new lower levy will come into effect from 1st October.

There was also some good news this month for anyone looking to give their home an energy efficiency makeover. The SEAI launched a brand new solar PV grant and just yesterday, a new Home Energy Saving Loan scheme was announced to make the whole grant application process a lot easier.

Moving onto the broadband, phone & TV sector, there was a lot of big news from Virgin Media.

Mid-month it launched some pretty sweet discounted prices across all of its dual and tripleplay bundles for new customers. All tripleplay bundles are now discounted by €40 per month for a full 12 months! That’s a saving of €480 for the year - not too shabby.

Last week, Virgin Media also announced that it will be launching a brand new dedicated sports channel called Virgin Media Sport as part of its takeover of TV3 and associated channels. The new channel will be free for all Virgin Media TV customers and available for purchase for non-customers.

Before you rush off to sign up with Virgin Media, be sure to compare it against all the other providers in your area - you might just find a better deal! It’s easy, you can search by eircode or your address right here.   

We saw a little more forward-thinking innovation in the banking sector this month, as both AIB and Permanent TSB launched new upgrades to their mobile banking apps.

It’s now possible to open a new current account with AIB right from its mobile app in just a few minutes. In a similar vein, Permanent TSB made it possible to apply and get approval in minutes for a personal loan of up to €25,000 from its mobile app.

With more and more of us conducting most of our banking online via smart devices, we decided to compare all of the banks to see who’s coming out on top when it comes to mobile banking apps - and you might be in for some surprises!    

This month, our Head of Communications, Daragh Cassidy featured on Ireland AM, Today FM, East Coast FM, C103 FM and Morning Ireland to give his views on recent energy price hikes in Ireland.

He also featured on East Coast FM again last week, to give a rundown on which TV channels and packages are best for sports fans.   

Virgin Media is offering 20% off Sky Sports for 12 months and Vodafone just launched a €25 autumn sale.

That's all folks!

We hope you enjoyed the August bulletin. Make sure to check us out on social media and YouTube for all the latest news and tips.