Number of gas and electricity disconnections continue to fall in August
The number of domestic disconnections for non-payment of account dropped again in August, according to the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER).
Electricity disconnections for the month totalled 483 while there were 266 gas disconnections, down from 690 and 326 in July respectively.
The CER and energy suppliers in Ireland have put considerable efforts into cutting the numbers of domestic gas and electricity disconnections. Figures from the end of 2013 showed there were 5,895 gas disconnections and 10,122 electric disconnections, prompting the CER to take action.
A moratorium (suspension of law) on disconnections was put in place at the beginning of 2014 in order to examine the situation in Ireland. Due to this, yearly figure comparisons are difficult but the analysis of the situation did result in an agreement that monthly reporting would take place.
These monthly reports from the CER reveal the variations in disconnection rates between the various gas and electricity suppliers in Ireland.
Disconnections in August
Of a total of 484 electricity disconnections in August, Electric Ireland accounted for 234 of them while SSE Airtricity was responsible for 142.
Bord Gáis Energy disconnected 99 customers in the month while PrePayPower cut eight customers, showing the widespread variation between electricity suppliers.
Similar levels of variation were noted in terms of gas disconnections, with Bord Gáis Energy accounting for 193 disconnections from a total of 266 in the month.
SSE Airtricity accounted for 41 disconnections from that figure, while Electric Ireland and Flogas Natural Gas disconnected 24 and eight households respectively.
The CER works to ensure that disconnection is always a last resort and all suppliers must work in compliance with the Code of Practice on Disconnections. It is believed that a significant number of energy disconnections also occur at sites where properties are vacant.
Numbers of electricity disconnections have decreased every month since March 2014, with only a small increase in June going against the overall trend.
Similarly, gas disconnections have fallen steadily every month since April 2014, thanks to the efforts of the CER to increase market transparency, provide pay-as-you-go meters and to showcase new payment opportunities.