Electric Ireland announced on Tuesday that it will credit the bills of approximately 10,000 of its registered vulnerable customers with €100 credit each. This is to help those in need during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In addition to this support for registered vulnerable customers, Electric Ireland has announced the extension of its disconnection moratorium, which commenced in October 2020, until the end of March 2021.
This will apply to Electric Ireland’s 1.1 million residential customers, as well as business customers, giving some peace of mind to all of those who may experience financial hardship and uncertainty during the winter season.
The move is another customer commitment as part of Electric Ireland’s Brighter Together Energy Programme launched earlier this year.
Marguerite Sayers, Executive Director of Electric Ireland, said: "We have almost 10,000 registered vulnerable customers, some of whom are critically dependent on electrically powered equipment, so we are delighted to support them with €1m credit this Christmas. This will mean a credit of €100 for each customer. We hope this gesture from us will alleviate some pressure at the end of a challenging year."
Marguerite added: "We are also acutely aware of the difficulties that some customers are experiencing due to the combined effect of the Covid-19 pandemic, Christmas expenses and winter energy bills. We have a rigorous engagement process in place to help customers who are facing such difficulties, to ensure we continue to offer them the best support.
"The continuation of our disconnection moratorium until March 2021 means that all of our residential and business customers can also rest assured that they will have the comfort of energy supply in the coming months. We are making a promise that we feel proud of - that no home or business will be left in the dark this winter due to payment difficulties.
"We would also like to remind any customer experiencing financial hardship to contact us and we will work with them to agree a payment plan suited to their individual circumstances."
Electric Ireland engages with all residential customers who experience payment difficulty in line with the voluntary Industry Energy Engage Code and offer fuel-poor customers who sign up to the Household Budget Scheme or Industry Solution Prepayment Meter a 5% discount. Electric Ireland also work closely with vital organisations such as MABS (the Irish Money Advice and Budgeting Service), and SVP (Society of St. Vincent de Paul) to help individual customers who run into trouble paying their bills.
Electric Ireland has also supported the Young St Vincent de Paul’s National Youth Development programme since 2013 and have given a financial donation to SVP at Christmas time for the last number of years.
Finally, for those homes that may experience fuel poverty, Electric Ireland’s dedicated Energy Saving Scheme has made €1.1m available in 2020 to support community programs aimed at improving the energy efficiency of homes at risk so these customers can also be part of Ireland’s transition to a low-carbon future.