Help & Support

What is the Low Usage Standing Charge?

The Low Usage Standing Charge no longer apples from the 1 May 2022. In the interim, all LUSC rates are now the same as the normal standing charge rates. Customers should no longer see LUSC on their bill but if it appears it will be charged at our normal standing charge rates.

This is an increased Standing Charge that only applies where you use two units or less of electricity on average per day in a billing period (typically 61 days).

Does this mean that my Standing Charge will be higher?

The higher Standing Charge only applies to a minority of customers who use an average of two units or less per day in any billing period (typically 61 days).

A typical residential electricity customer uses approximately 14 units per day.

How Much is it?

It is 8.63 cents per day more that the normal standing charge.

This equates to approximately €5.25 (inc. VAT) per billing period.

(Only applicable to customers who use on average 2 kWh or less of electricity per day, equivalent to 122 kWh for an average billing cycle of 61 days).

The Low Usage Standing Charge does not apply to customers in receipt of a Free Electricity Allowance.

Why was this charge introduced?

The charge was introduced to enable Electric Ireland recover the costs associated with providing electricity to customers with very low usage. These costs include a combination of the fixed charges associated with meter reading, network maintenance and a share of the supply costs incurred in servicing electricity accounts and are normally recovered through a combination of electricity units and standing charges. However, in situations where there is very low electricity usage as in the case of a vacant premises, these costs are not recovered fully. This charge will allow Electric Ireland to recover its costs in such circumstances.

Is there an alternative to this higher standing charge?

The alternative was to increase standing charges for all customers; however a fairer approach is to apply the charge solely on accounts where we are currently not recovering our full costs.

Does this mean some bills throughout the year may have the additional charge, while other bills may not?

Yes, depending on your electricity usage in any billing period, a higher standing charge may apply to some bills but not to others.

Does this apply to both gas and electricity?

This higher standing charge applies to Electricity accounts only.

What if I am away for a week or two on holiday?

In general, households or premises which are occupied on a regular basis will not be affected. In the majority of cases this charge will only affect households or premises that are vacant for long periods of time.

I have signed up to one of your new price plans – will I be affected?

All customers who use an average of two units or less per day in a billing period will be affected. However there are a number of exceptions:

  • Customers who receive a Free Electricity Allowance
  • Customers on Household Budget Plan and Pay As You Go meters

What happens if my bills are estimated and a higher standing charge is applied?

If you receive an estimated bill with a low usage standing charge and you feel it may be incorrect, You can adjust your meter reading online at anytime, or phone us with your meter reading at 1800 372 372 and we will adjust your bill for you. We will remove the charge if your usage is above the average two units per day threshold for that particular billing period.

What about people who generally don’t use much electricity?

We have set the daily threshold at a very low level (average two units or less per day per billing period) and are confident that only empty/vacant households and premises will attract this increased charge.

What if it is a holiday home down the country and I cannot get a reading?

Whenever you visit your holiday home, we advise that you take a meter reading and update us by either adjusting your meter reading online at any time or by phoning us at 1800 372 372 so we can adjust your reading.

Should I get the electricity disconnected at my vacant premises instead?

If you expect your premises to be vacant for a long period of time into the future (more than 2 years), you could consider having the electricity supply disconnected.

Please note that there will be a disconnection charge and a reconnection charge for reconnecting the supply. You can arrange this by contacting us at 1800 372 372.

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