SINN Fein Deputy David Cullinane has contacted a number of energy providers in Ireland to find out what they will be doing to help customers during the Covid-19 crisis.
Bord Gáis Energy say that they will be halting disconnections…
…and that’s it.
EDIT: Bord Gáis have since been in contact with the following statement:
“We just wanted to clarify that Bord Gáis Energy does offer a €100 emergency credit to pre pay gas customers. To buy credit for a Pay As You Go Gas Meter, customers bring the Gas Card, together with payment to their nearest Payzone, Post Point outlet or your nearest Post Office. If for any reason you cannot top up, there is an emergency credit available on your card to the value of €100 for gas prepayment customers only*. This is a temporary system change, considering the challenges that Covid-19 brings. To have this change applied to your card, we advise that you vend at your nearest outlet from 17 March onwards. In order to use emergency credit again in the future, the emergency credit will need to be repaid in full.”
Pinergy say that they have “communicated with all customers” stressing that their teams were “fully operational and contingency plans were in place to support all our customers”.
“In particular, we have highlighted the wide variety of means for them to top up,” a Pinergy spokesperson said. “We’ve also advised them of contact details for our customer support team to obtain a top up should their movements be restricted due to self-isolation. In addition to the communication already sent to customers, we are contacting our vulnerable customers directly to discuss their situations. We are confident that our customers will not be cut off due to self-isolation during the pandemic. In addition, we do not intend to issue disconnection notices during this time.”
SSE Airtricity said that they would be placing a moratorium on all disconnections for home and business energy customers.
“We fully appreciate how challenging these unprecedented times are and we want to support all of our customers by helping to minimise the impact of COVID-19 on their lives. We encourage anyone with concerns about their energy bills to speak with us and we’ll work with them to find a resolution together,” an Airtricity spokesperson said.
Airtricity say they have increased the emergency credit from €10 to €100 for a “period of time” for Gas pre-payment customers.
“Where possible, we advise Prepayment Electricity customers who can, to top up online,” the spokesperson said. “As you can appreciate, our priority is to focus our efforts on ensuring we take the care of our most vulnerable customers and those with prepayment meters. Please be assured our priority also remains maintaining our service and power to our customers and helping people to stay safe and healthy.”
Deputy Cullinane said that he welcomed the decision by energy operators to cease all disconnections for non payment at this time.
“However many customers will struggle to make payments and I think it is important that energy providers step up to the plate,” Deputy Cullinane said. “More also needs to be done for Prepayment and Pay As You Go customers. We need to do all we can to protect workers and families at this difficult time.”