In light of recent government measures regarding Covid-19, the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU), along with the Gas and Electricity Suppliers recognise that some customers may be isolated at home over the coming days and weeks.
While for most electricity and gas customers this will not have an impact, the CRU has put in place measures to assist prepayment meter customers during this period to ensure they remain connected to their electricity and gas supplies.
Prepayment Customers should to continue to top up their meters to ensure continued service over the coming days and weeks.
Gas pre-payment meters
Customers with gas prepayment meters customers cannot top up remotely. These customers must visit a post office or shop and purchase credit, or vend, to keep their meter topped up. As some customers may not be able to reach a retail outlet as regularly over the coming days and weeks, the CRU has taken the decision to increase emergency credit levels for all gas prepayment customers from €10 to €100. This measure is being applied to allow customers to remain connected for a period of time even if they cannot continue to purchase credit regularly as usual.
What Customers need to do:
To update the emergency credit on a gas prepayment meter, Customers must initially bring the gas pre-payment card to a shop and complete a vend for this update to apply. This can be registered as a “zero value” during the process and the emergency credit on the card should then be automatically topped up to €100. It should be noted that customers who have existing Emergency Credit Debt on the meter before the update will have to pay off the emergency credit debt before being able to avail of the increased emergency credit value. It may take multiple vends to pay the debt off. Once this process is completed, in the event that customers cannot reach a retail outlet over the coming weeks, there will now be additional credit to this value on the meter to allow gas to continue to flow for a longer period of time than usual.
Electricity pre-payment meters
Suppliers with electricity prepayment customers offer online and over the phone top ups services if you cannot reach a shop. If you need information on how to do this, customers should contact their supplier directly or visit their website. The CRU is not proposing to change the level of emergency credit at this time and will continue to monitor the situation and take action if required to protect customers.
The CRU reminds customers to only use emergency credit in an emergency, as this credit will have to be paid back at a later date.
In line with measures normally taken for bad weather events, domestic disconnections have been suspended until March 29.
These customer protection measures will come into effect from 08:00 on Tuesday, 17 March.
Source: CRU 16/3/2020