Irish consumers still reluctant to switch energy and broadband services

Inertia amongst Irish consumers remains high when it comes to switching behaviour according to the latest research from the National Consumer Agency

David Baker
by David Baker on 4th September, 2013

A misguided belief that switching suppliers is more hassle than it’s worth and that the price difference between providers barely differs is stopping consumers from making potential savings of €20 a month.

Research conducted by Behaviour and Attitudes on behalf of the National Consumer Agency, found that 48% of consumers who have not switched gas provider had never looked for a better deal. The figures for electricity and fixed landline providers stood at 45% and 41% respectively.

The reluctance to get energy switching and broadband switching underway stems from the belief that the hassle outweighs the benefits and that price differences between providers are minimal.

Karen O’Leary, Chief Executive of the National Consumer Agency, said: “Switching may not be as difficult as you think.

In recent years it has become a much simpler process in many sectors so it shouldn’t take long to see if you can get a better deal.” Consumer awareness on the rise

However, while there are barriers to switching gas and electricity among other services, the research published by the National Consumer Agency revealed that 27% of consumers stated they “change companies often and avail of better deals whenever they can”, compared with just 23% the previous year.

The research shows that the majority of those who shopped around and switched providers saved money across a range of services, including utilities such as gas, and electricity, TV and broadband services. Energy switching is carried out by 16% of consumers and broadband switching isn’t far behind, with 14% switching in this sector.

The majority of consumers who compared and switched energy, broadband and TV suppliers among other services made an average monthly saving of €15-€20 per sector. Eoin Clarke, Head of , encourages consumers to make their money go further by switching provider. “Energy customers can save up €254 just by switching energy supplier alone. Households looking to cut their energy bills can achieve a valuable saving just by moving to dual fuel tariff, paying by direct debit and signing up to a more competitively priced deal.”

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