ESB Networks has sent thousands of letters to electricity customers informing them that their meters may have a fault that could lead to overcharging.
ESB Networks has issued 27,000 letters to domestic customers to advise them that they may have faulty meters.
The meters, which were installed between 2007 and 2008, are found mainly in apartment blocks built from that time.
Although all 27,000 meters will be recalled, it is likely that only around 1,700 of these meters are faulty according to Bernadine Maloney, Corporate Communications and Public Relations officer with the ESB.
"Creeping" meter fault
The problem lies with a faulty capacitor covering which can become porous and let in moisture over time. This can cause “creeping” - which is the over-recording of electricity consumption. The issue can occur even where there is no usage.
The issue has also been identified in the UK, but has occurred with more frequency in countries with warmer climates such as Brazil and Australia.
When the fault occurs, the meter may over-record consumption for a period of time, and then stop recording consumption altogether.
“All customers that have been over charged due to this fault will be fully refunded”, said Ms Maloney, “and we will work with the CER and the electricity suppliers to determine how refunds will be processed.”
“This fault does not pose any danger to householders, and even if the meter stops recording consumption, it will not cause any interruption to supply”, she said.
The meters, which are Ampy RM067 and RM068 type single tariff digital meters, have the potential to fail due to a faulty capacitor covering. For affected meters, ESB networks has said that they will be able to determine when the fault occurred and this will enable them to determine the level of over recorded consumption. This will determine the refund.
ESB Networks will use analytics to identify the meters most likely to be affected and these will be recalled first.