Domestic energy disconnections continue to decrease

July report showcases efforts of suppliers and the CER to reduce figures

Eoin Clarke
by Eoin Clarke on 9th September, 2014

The number of domestic energy disconnections as a result of non payment of account continued to decrease in July, according to the latest figures from the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER).

A total of 690 electricity disconnections and 326 gas disconnections occurred in the month, down from 726 and 392 respectively in June. The drop in disconnection rates are testament to the work being done by the CER and the energy suppliers to cut the numbers of domestic gas and electricity disconnections nationwide.

At the end of 2013, some 5,895 gas disconnections and 10,122 electric disconnections were recorded, prompting the CER to see if more could be done. A moratorium (suspension of law) on disconnections occurred in the early part of 2014 in order to analyse the situation.

As a result, yearly comparisons are difficult but one outcome from the investigation saw an agreement that monthly reporting would take place. This shows the widespread variation in disconnection figures that is occurring among different suppliers.

Disconnections in July 

Of the 690 electricity disconnections in July, 323 were made by Electric Ireland, 193 with SSE Airtricity, 128 with Bord Gáis Energy and 46 with PrePayPower. It is therefore possible to see that there is wide variation in rates of disconnection among suppliers, although overall rates are falling. A similar case exists regarding gas disconnections, with Bord Gáis energy responsible for 159 of the 326 to occur in June. SSE Airtricity accounted for 98, Electric Ireland for 52 and Flogas for 17, while the overall trend saw another drop in the numbers in the month of July.

The CER states that disconnection must always be the last resort – something that is achieved by suppliers working in compliance with the Code of Practice on Disconnections. It is also worth remembering that it is thought that a significant number of energy disconnections occur at sites where the property is vacant. The number of electricity disconnections has gradually decreased since March 2014, with only a minimal increase in June bucking that trend.

A similar situation has occurred regarding gas disconnections since April 2014, with every month reporting a reduction in disconnections compared to the one previously. A key factor in these trends comes as a result of work by the CER to increase transparency in the market, develop new payment plans and provide pay-as-you-go meters

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