Bord Gáis Energy is now the second supplier, after Electric Ireland, to officially announce a disconnection moratorium for its customers and that will last for the entirety of the six week lockdown.
It’s been a very tough number of months since the pandemic began in Ireland all the way back in March, not least for many energy customers who’ve been hit with a double whammy of electricity price increases, and a 130% rise in the cost of the PSO levy.
While five energy suppliers have so far increased the price of their standard unit electricity rates for residential electricity customers, passing on costs from the Single Electricity Market, a total of four suppliers have gone the other way and announced price freezes, the first to do so being Bord Gáis Energy (BGE).
The natural gas and electricity provider has gone one step further today in helping to safeguard its customers from bill shock by announcing a disconnection moratorium for the duration of level 5.
Electric Ireland was the first supplier to make such an announcement on Wednesday.
This effectively means that BGE will not be disconnecting residential or business customers for non-payment of bills during this time.
The suspension of any and all disconnections came into effect from midnight on Wednesday 21st October and will last until level 5 restrictions ease in six weeks time on December 1st.
Head of Consumer at BGE, Deirdre Threadgold said:
Since the start of this pandemic we have encouraged any customer who is concerned about paying for their energy to get in touch with us straight away. We are here to help and we commit to being as flexible as possible to work with our customers to try to find solutions. We can help set up sustainable payment plans that will ease the worry at this time and avoid undue debt build-up on their accounts.
Our operations continue to run smoothly, we know that ensuring a steady supply of gas, electricity and services to our customers’ homes and businesses is critically important as we head into the winter months.
Coming into the colder winter period, we are committed to leaving no one in the cold, we are reassuring customers that we will continue to carry out service and repair work and advising them that if they have concerns about their boiler to get in touch with us. We have screening questions for customers to answer before our engineer will go into any home and have a robust set of procedures in place to keep both our customers and our engineers safe, to prevent against community transmission of Covid-19.
Help should you need it
For customers of BGE who may be worried about paying their next bill, the energy company has moved to allay any financial fears with today’s announcement.
Furthermore, BGE customers are encouraging customers who may be concerned about paying for their energy to get in touch with the supplier as soon as possible.
Bord Gáis has committed to being ‘as flexible as possible’ to work with customers by, for example, setting up sustainable payment plans that will help to avoid undue debt build-up on their accounts.
Customers can find all the information they need to get in contact right here.
The latest announcement from BGE is part of its ‘Price Pledge’ commitment it made to customers back in September when it was the first supplier to freeze its residential gas and electricity prices ahead of the winter period.
The price freeze, should you have missed the news, will be in effect until at least March 2021.
Back in October of 2019 Bord Gáis was the only energy provider to reduce the price of its gas (-4%) ahead of the winter period, while increasing its electricity prices (+2.5%).
BGE also implemented another price reduction in May of 2020 with a further 4.5% and 6.5% reduction across its residential electricity and gas rates respectively.
These two price reductions combined saved dual fuel customers an average of €97.53 per annum on their home energy costs.
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