Fine Gael Senators have encouraged people to shop around for better deals on utility bills in the New Year.
Dublin Senator Catherine Noone and Cork Senator Tim Lombard challenged themselves to slash their monthly bills by shopping around for different plans and providers.
Senator Tim Lombard said: “With a family of six, my biggest utility bills are health insurance and combined gas and electricity.
“I was surprised that I could do most of my research online, meaning I didn’t have to waste time and money on costly lo-call numbers.
“I saved €75 per month – or €900 per year – by switching electricity and health insurance providers.”
Senator Lombard continued: “I signed up for a 12 month contract, switched to e-billing and direct debit and saved 15% on my electricity bill. It was a very efficient way of saving a considerable amount.
“I used a comparison website for health insurance – The Health Insurance Authority – which gave me great information and I could compare one plan with another quite comfortably.
“This was a very useful tool to ensure I got the appropriate plan that suited my family. I ended up saving an astonishing €580 on my yearly premium.”
Senator Catherine Noone said: “It really pays not to be complacent and take the time to look for the best deal available. Even if you stick with the same provider, there is serious money to be saved.
“When I took the time to sit down and review my options, I discovered I could save €30 a month on my existing internet and TV bill just by switching plans.
“I also saved a total of €20 off my monthly electricity and gas bill with my existing provider by making a short phone call.
“People shouldn’t be put off by thinking they have to spend ages on the phone or days researching. Taking half an hour to review your options can make a world of difference.
“It’s something we should do on a yearly basis – the New Year is a new start and we can look at what has changed in the market place and make savings.”