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As flat rate services are phased out, prices remain stable - PMG

 

August 28th 2018

 

 

Month-on-month and 6-month review reveals no major price movements across monitored firms

 

Key findings from June market analysis

 

For this latest report, the Price Monitoring Group considered two sets of data:

  1. The standard monthly data (July vs June).
  2. 6-month data (July vs February).  
     

July data - Prices remained broadly stable in July with only a few minor price adjustments recorded from across the firms that are monitored for this report.  

 

The Price Monitoring Group, which was established to monitor the cost of residential household waste collection during the phasing out of flat rate services, monitors 26 service providers. This comprises 19 individual companies with several of those being monitored in more than one area.

 

The July price monitoring campaign continued the standard practice of employing a mix of phone calls to waste collection firms along with additional inspections of their websites to confirm prices. The approach reveals that prices charged to residential users is complex; there is no single or uniform price arrangement across all of the service providers monitored. An example of the complexity of the market shows that some service providers offer multiple waste collection packages. For example, in July, the total number of those packages increased by one, from 46 to 47 which is the same number offered in May (a full breakdown of all service offers is included with this report).

 

Range of pricing models available

Many waste collection companies offer a range of price plans to their customers. Because of this and the general level of complexity of those price plans, it is essential their staff and websites are managed effectively to optimise customer experience. During the July calls carried out on behalf of the Price Monitoring Group, the general level of customer service appears to have been less than what was observed during previous month's calls. It is unclear at this point whether or not this is the result of staff shortages during the summer annual leave period.   

 

Complex Price Models

Across all of the companies monitored, there are now 8 different price models, a drop of one from the previous month. One firm that had been offering a flat-rate plan ceased offering it to its customers in July.    

Examples of price models include: Service charge plus per kg weight charge; E-tag and other options.

 

Phase out of flat-rate fees

None of the firms monitored by the Price Monitoring Group offered a flat-rate plan to its customers in July; this is the first time that no flat-rate plan was available for publication. Interestingly, the firm (Service provider I) that ceased quoting for a flat-rate plan retained its monthly service charge while also introducing and excess KG limits and charges. This company had decreased its flat-rate monthly charge from €29 to €20.95 between May and June.    

 

Some upward price movements

Across the 47 various price plans available; there was a mix of price increases and decreases, those were as follows:  

 

  1. Service Provider P – monthly service charge increased from €3 to €6.50 (Service charge plus charge per lift per bin).
  2. Service Provider P – monthly service charge increased from €26 to €27.75 (Service charge including weight allowance plus per KG charge for excess above allowance).
  3. Service Provider A – although this firm reduced its service charges (Service charge plus charge per lift per bin), it also increased its three lift charges for waste (from €7.50 to €9), recycling (from €0 to €4) and organic (from €4 to €5). 
     

Some prices also decreased

  1. Service Provider A – monthly service charge decreased from €13.17 to €12 (Service charge plus charge per lift per bin).
  2. Service Provider D – monthly service charge decreased from €17 to €12 (Service charge plus per KG weight charge).
  3. Service Provider I – organic lift charge decreased from €9 to €3.75 (E-tag).

 

6-month comparison

While the June and July data reveals broad price stability, there is generally a similar picture when prices across a 6-month period are analysed. For this, the Group compared July and February data.

 

The findings are as follows:

  • In July, there were 47 different price plans available to service users from across the 26 firms that are actively monitored. In February, there were 42.
  • Of the 47 different plans available in July, 38 are common to February; it is the 38 that forms the basis for the comparison.
  • Of the 38, there were 11 price adjustments; 9 increased while 2 decreased.
  • Service Provider A reduced its monthly service charge from €13.16 to €12 (this was noted in the month-on-month analysis including the various lift charge adjustments).
  • Service Provider C reduced its monthly service charge from €15 to €10.
  • Service Providers F, H, J, K, R, S, T, V and Y increased their monthly service charges by between €0.48cent and €2.50.
  • A minority of monitored providers announced introductions and adjustments of recycling lift charges.
  • A number of firms made adjustments to monthly waste KG allowances; many of which were increased.    
  • Other price adjustments have been identified in the June – July comparison.

 

Why some information is anonymised

The purpose of the group is to gain a broad understanding of whether or not prices are fluctuating and if they are, by how much during the period flat rate services are being phased out.

 

Composition of the PMG

The group comprises representatives from:

  • Waste Policy & Resource Efficiency Division
  • An economist from the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment,
  • A statistician from the Central Statistics Office.
  • Shelfwatch – an independent price monitoring group and
  • Frank Conway, an independent consumer expert.

To date, the Price Monitoring Group has met on twelve separate occasions: 13th September, 11th October, 14th November, 12th December, 9th January 2018, 13th February, 13th of March, 10th April, 14th May, 20th June, 17th July and August 14th.     

For more information, please click on the following link: https://www.dccae.gov.ie/en-ie/environment/topics/waste/the-householder-and-waste/household-waste-collection/price-monitoring-group/Pages/Monthly-Analysis.aspx

 

END

 

Submissions to: pricemonitoringgroup@dccae.gov.ie

Please note this email has been put in place to facilitate the submission of relevant price information to the Group. The Group will consider all submission that can help inform it in respect to prices residential users pay for the collection of residential waste. Unfortunately, the Group is not in a position to respond to individual submissions at this time. 

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