Cost of Using a Tumble Dryer

Most people probably know that using a tumble dryer can increase electricity bills by quite a lot – but just how much does it actually cost to dry a load of clothes with a tumble dryer?
Well –  it depends on the type of tumble dryer you have and what energy rating it has. We looked at some currently available tumble dryers and compared their electricity usage . ( If you have a tumble dryer older than 5 years it is very likely to be using even more electricity than the examples given below.)
We calculated the electricity costs using the current standard electricity unit rate charged by Electric Ireland of 17.17c per kWh inclusive of VAT. Lower rates may be available from other suppliers. (See Cheaper Electricity Providers ).

The worst  performing tumble dryer in our survey uses more than 3 times  electricity per year than the best one. The best performing tumble driers will usually cost more than the poorer performing ones – but over the lifetime of the dryer you can sometimes recoup the extra costs with the savings in electricity bills.

Tumble Dryer Running Costs Compared

Tumble Dryer
Cost per
White Knight C86A7W  75.5c €95.83  C €220
Beko DRVS73  72c €91.48  B €250
Hotpoint TVM570P 68.16c €86.47 B €230
Bosch WTH83000GB 38.1.6c €42.31 A+ €430
Miele TKB140 WP 30c €38.10 A++ €1030
Gorenje D8565NR 27.98c €31.06 A+++ €775
Maytag HMMR80530  25c  €27.75 A+++ €650

For example – comparing costs over just 5 years : If you bought the  cheaper Tumble Dryer – the White Knight  at €210 with a C rating – your total cost including electricity over 5 years would be €699.15 .
Buying the  A+ rated Bosch model for €430 would end up costing a total of  €641.55 over 5 years  – an overall saving of €57.60. The savings will be more over a longer period of time and will be bigger as electricity rates increase. You can click on the links to see current prices and find out more about each tumble dryer in our small survey.

If you have an older tumble dryer with an energy rating as bad as  E or F  – then your running costs will be even higher than any of the the figures shown above and you should be looking at replacing it as soon as possible.

** Annual electricity cost based on  888kg of drying a year and calculated using the manufacturers specification and energy usage figures. Manufacturers figures usually assume that washing has gone through a 1400rpm spin before being put in the dryer .
The electricity usage figures shown above will be what to expect in optimal conditions.  If you don’t clean filters or don’t fully spin the washing then the drying costs will be more than shown in the table above.


Bank of Ireland Cashback Mortgage

Bank of Ireland  are still running their offer to refund 2% of  mortgages for all new mortgage customers  – including Buy to Let and switchers.  This 2% cashback offer applies to all new BOI mortgage customers until the end of November 2017

So – on a €200,000 mortgage – BOI  would refund cashback of  €4000. There is no upper limit to the cashback amount. If the customer eventually moves their mortgage away from BOI they do not have to pay back the €4000.
(When the offer was originally launched in 2015 – there was a clause that required repayment of the cashback if the customer moved the mortgage within 5 years)

Find Out More and get a quote at Bank of Ireland

Bank Of Ireland also have another cashback offer called Cashback Plus.  It is still 2% cashback – but after staying with BOI for 5 years customers get a further 1% cashback – so a grand total of 3% cashback is possible. This is only available to BOI current account holders . It is not available on Buy to Let properties. This new offer is also due to end in November 2017.

Bank of Ireland’s variable rates are not the lowest in the country  but their fixed mortgage rates are currently amongst the best available – as you can see on our list of the Best Irish Mortgage Rates .

For someone looking to borrow up to 80% of the value of  a house  – BOI are offering a fairly good fixed rate of 3.1% at the moment (over 3 or 5 years) .

The cashback up front could come in handy for decorating or furnishing a new house. If used in conjunction with the 5% cashback from the government’s Help to Buy Scheme – it could result in as much as 7.5% cashback. (Example: On a €300,000 property with a €255,000 mortgage  that would work out at €7650 cashback from BOI and €15,000 from the Help to Buy – a total of €22650)

Note:  the cashback does not have to be paid back to BOI when or if  you move your mortgage away from BOI.

You can apply for a BOI Mortgage Online Here


Cheapest Prepay Mobile Charges Ireland

Which mobile provider has the Cheapest Prepay Mobile Charges in Ireland  ?
Updated April 2017

In 2016 the average spend per mobile customer in Ireland was €25.10 a month or  €301 a year . Pre-paid mobile phone customers in Ireland spent half as much as bill pay customers  – with average monthly prepay charges of €15.44 compared to a  €34.94 monthly average for bill pay mobile customers.

About half of all  mobile phone users in Ireland  use Pre-Pay or “Pay as You Go” mobile plans  (PAYG)

It can be very easy to  lose track of just how much your prepaid phone usage is costing you. If you just keep getting  €10 or €20 Euro top ups at the supermarket or garage those amounts can soon mount up.

If you are regularly spending over €30 a month on your billpay or prepay mobile phone charges – you should be looking into changing your provider or your plan. You can get a cheaper deal.

Summary of the Cheapest Prepay Mobile Plans

Currently – one of the best value pre-pay options is from  Lycamobile : for just €15 a month you get a bundlle that includes   30Gb Data , Unlimited  Texts and Unlimited calls to all mobiles and landlines in Ireland. (Unlimited is actually 8000 mins and 8000 texts a month – which is more than enough.)  (Note – Internet is  3G).
They are running a special half price offer for new customers – so it is currently  just €7.50 for the first month.
It also includes free roaming in 18 countries including USA , UK and Australia. (Calls and texts only).
They also have a good Top Up offer – that gets you 10Gb of data and unlimited calls to any network for €15 – and you get to keep the credit. So you could use this €15 credit the following month to buy the bundle mentioned abov (30gb data plus unlimited calls and texts) . If you keep doing this – you can get an average of 20Gb data per month and unlimited calls for €7.30 per month.
Lycamobile  use the old O2 network – (the same as Tesco and 48 Months ) which is reported to have patchy coverage  in some rural areas .
You can Order a free SIM here at the Lycamobile site

Tesco Mobile have a €15 top up deal that gets you unlimited calls  , 10Gb of data and you can use the €15 credit to buy unlimited texts (€10). Opt in text required to get this offer. (Tesco use the Three network)

Another good pre-pay deal is from  48 Months. They also use the Three network and for  €20 a month “membership” you get unlimited texts , 1000 minutes of calls to any Irish mobile network , 60 minutes to landlines and  8Gb of data
For just €10 a month you will get 1Gb plus 300 mins of mobile calls , 60 mins to landlines  and unlimited texts. 48Months is aimed at the 18 to 22 age group – but as far as we can see there is no request for ID or  proof of age.  You can order a Free Sim online here at the 48Months website

Meteor  also have a some pretty good Pay as You Go deals at the moment .  For a €20 monthly top up you get 15Gb of data  plus either unlimited texts or unlimited calls to all networks including landlines . (Fair usage 5000 mins and 5000 texts).  For  €30  a month top up  you get 15Gb of data  plus both unlimited texts and  unlimited calls to all networks . You need to opt in to these deals , they are not automatic.

are due to increase prices from April 2017  –  from April if you top up by €20 you get Unlimited data (60Gb) , unlimited texts and free calls to phones on the Three networkYou get to keep the €20 creditwhich will get you about  50 minutes of calls to other mobiles or landlines.

The newest Irish mobile provider is Id Mobile from Carphone Warehouse.  They also use the Three network (same as 48months and Tesco and Lyca).They have a prepay bundle costing €15 a month which gets you  30Gb of data,  300 call minutes and you can spend the €15 on more calls or texts. (But – €15 would only get you 48 minutes of calls).
In our view – the Lycamobile  €15 bundle is better value with more calls and texts and free roaming in 18 countries.

Vodafone have a €20 bundle of unlimited calls and texts plus 1GB data

Coverage – especially for internet – can vary across different providers in different parts of the country. Rural areas usually have poorer coverage . You probably shouldn’t be relying on mobile phone internet in rural areas of Ireland  for heavy usage such as video or music streaming.

See our article about  Lowest Prepay Data Charges on Mobiles in Ireland

Take a look at our page about the  Best SIM only Plans Ireland

Mobile Companies  Revenue : According to COMREG  – the combined retail revenue of the mobile phone companies  in Ireland was over €1.5 Billion Euro  in 2015.  That income was generated by about 6 billion text messages and over 12 billion voice minutes from  5.8 million mobile phones. (There are more mobile phones in Ireland than people!)

Figures and prices checked April 2017


Help to Buy Scheme for First Time Buyers

Help to Buy Scheme for First Time Buyers

First time buyers in Ireland  can claim a tax rebate equal to 5% of the value of the new home they are buying from January 2017. A New home is defined as “a new building which was not previously used, or suitable for use, as a dwelling.”  Second hand homes are not eligible.

Some people are referring to this scheme as a First Time Buyers Grant.

As of 6 April 2017, Revenue said they had received 5,018 applications to Stage 1 of the Help to Buy incentive. Of these, 1,149  had gone on to stage 2 claims and  665 of these have been approved. The total paid so far is estimated to be €10.2 million.

The Help to Buy tax rebate of up to €20,000 will be available only to first time buyers to help them purchase a new home in Ireland. It is aimed at people who might not be able to afford to put down a 10% deposit in line with Central Bank Mortgage Rules.

The  tax rebate can  be claimed on new homes that were bought since July 19th 2016 .  But – if you signed a contract to buy a property (or drew down the first tranche of the mortgage for a self-build) before 19th July 2016  you will not be eligible for the Help to Buy Scheme
The Help to Buy scheme is due to finish at the end of 2019.

Bonus : If first time buyers also manage to take out one of the mortgages with cashback – such as with Bank of Ireland , they could get as much as 8% total cashback.. See the Lowest Mortgage Rates Here


The government’s  Help to Buy Scheme  (HTB)  will enable eligible first time buyers to get up to 5% of the purchase price of a new house or apartment back in the form of a tax rebate.  This can then be used towards the deposit on the purchase .

The total tax rebate under Help to Buy  will be limited to the total income tax and DIRT paid over the previous four tax years and will be capped at €20k. If you have paid less than €20k income tax / DIRT  in the past 4 years – the maximum rebate possible will be the total amount of tax you paid.

Purchases Before Jan 1st 2017
The rules are different for houses bought or built between July 19th 2016 and Dec 31st 2016. These properties will  be eligible for tax rebates on purchases up to €600,000 – but the rebate will still be limited to  €20,000.

Purchases from Jan 1st 2017 – The 5% tax rebate will only apply to houses  priced up to €500,000. Still  with a €20k cap.

Applications for Help to Buy

There are 2 stages to the  HTB Application :
Stage 1 is to work out the maximum relief available to you under the scheme based on tax payments you made in the relevant years.  You can apply before you choose a house or apply for a mortgage. Once you know the maximum rebate possible –  you can then  arrange a mortgage and/or sign a contract with a prospective Qualifying Contractor.

When mortgages and contracts are signed you will need to  complete Stage 2 of the Help to Buy Claim  where the exact rebate will be worked out based on purchase price.

Payments of the rebate will be made directly to the builder/developer as part of  the deposit.  The builder/developer must have registered with Revenue as a registered contractor under the Help to Buy Scheme . Only properties built by a registered contractor will be eligible.
In the case of a self build – the payment wil be made direct to the bank providing the mortgage.

Before making an application for the Help to Buy Scheme , you will  first need to complete Online Forms 12 (if a PAYE taxpayer) OR Forms 11 (if self-assessed), in respect of each of the  four tax years and you must pay any outstanding taxes due.

Online applications for the Help to Buy scheme are now being accepted by Revenue since Jan 3rd 2017.
PAYE employees can apply on Revenue’s MyAccount .
Self Assessed taxpayers can apply through ROS

Applicants will also need to register to use the Revenue’s MyEnquiries service.

Mortgage Rules

In order to qualify, applicants must take out a mortgage of at least 70% of the purchase price, or in the case of a self -build, at least 70% of the valuation approved by the mortgage provider.  

First Time Buyer – definition . Revenue say that…. “The first-time buyer must not have either individually or jointly with any other person (directly or indirectly), previously purchased, orbuilt a property.”

So – owning an inherited property will not exclude people from this scheme.

Clawback: The property must be occupied by the first-time buyer, or at least one of the first-time buyers in the case of multiple first-time buyers , for a period of five years from the date the property is habitable — otherwise some or all of the rebate will have to be repaid. See Below …
Leave or sell within 1 year – 100% of rebate to be repaid.
Leave or sell within 2 years – 80% of rebate to be repaid.
Leave or sell within 3 years – 60% of rebate to be repaid.
Leave or sell within 4 years  – 40% of rebate to be repaid.
Leave or sell within 5 years – 20% of rebate to be repaid.

Examples of Rebate Amounts

Purchase Price             Max Tax Rebate on Purchases After Dec 31 2016

200,000                          10,000
250,000                          12.500
300,000                          15,000
400,000                          20,000
499,000                          20,000
501,000                            Nil


First Time Buyers Grant

There was a First Time Buyers Grant in operation from 1977 to 2002. When it was abolished it was worth €3,610 .The Housing Minister at the time said the  grant “returned little benefit to consumers” and had “simply been absorbed in the increased profits of builders“.

We wonder if the same thing will happen this time around?  Will the HTB scheme  just result in a rise in house prices ?