Conor Pope: 'Very little wiggle room left' for Irish households

Panda Recycling is to put its prices up for household rubbish collection from next month
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

18.32 26 Aug 2022

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Conor Pope: 'Very little wiggl...

Conor Pope: 'Very little wiggle room left' for Irish households

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

18.32 26 Aug 2022

Share this article

There's still significant savings households can make, despite price hikes across the board.

That's according to Conor Pope, price watch editor at The Irish Times.

He was speaking as Panda Recycling is to introduce double-digit price rises on its customers from next month.


The company is blaming a surge in the cost of fuel needed for its trucks.

Conor told The Hard Shoulder there are still things people can do.

"It's really important to stress that whilst the prices are increasing, an awful lot of your listeners will be going 'There's nothing we can do, I'm with Airtricity and I've been with Airtricity for the last two or three years, so I'm just going to have to suck it up'.

"That's not true - because even in an era of price hikes, there is still really significant savings to be made."

He said this is particularly the case for people who haven't switched electricity provider in recent years.

"The way the market is set up in this country, if you move from Company A to Company B you will be incentivised for the first year with significant discounts.

"Those discounts can amount to up to 40%.

"It's far easier to do it in the energy space than it is to do it in any other space.

"When it comes to gas and electricity, there is absolutely no difference between the gas and electricity that Electric Ireland give you and the gas and electricity that Bord Gáis Energy give you".

'All companies likely to follow suit'

Conor said the price hikes are likely to continue for all sectors.

"The Panda one chimes with everything else - you say 'OK, you've no choice but to take out the bins', you also have no choice but to turn on your lights, cook your dinner or to buy your food.

"So all of the charges that are being rolled out... almost all of them are unavoidable.

"Bin charges are pretty complicated at the best of times, because it does depend on what bins you're putting out and how often you put them out.

"But the bottom line is that people will be paying more - and they'll be paying substantially more to put out their bins with Panda.

"The reality is of course.... all of the companies are likely to follow suit.

"We've seen that reflected across the board... when one company raises the prices, they all follow suit".

But he said many households are already at their limit.

"For hundreds of thousands of Irish consumers, and hundreds of thousands of Irish householders, they're already being put to the pin of their collar.

"They're already doing all of the things that we might advise them to do.

"So there's very little wiggle room left, and that's why we're heading into this winter of discontent.

"If it was one or two areas, you'd think 'OK, we're just going to buckle down and we'll take the hit'.

"But the reality is the price increases are coming across the board".

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