Electric Ireland is the first supplier to announce an extension to its disconnection moratorium for customers nationwide, running until March 1st 2021.
The winter months can be a tough time for many households, especially when it comes to paying expensive energy bills, and the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic certainly hasn't been helped in that regard.
However, Electric Ireland is making sure its customers are looked after during the winter period with the announcement that it will be extending its disconnection moratorium for all its 1.1 million customers.
The extended moratorium period will last until March 1st 2021 and means Electric Ireland customers will be protected from any disruption to their energy supply throughout the Level 5 lockdown period in January, as well as for the remaining winter months.
Marguerite Sayers, Executive Director, Electric Ireland commented on the announcement by saying:
We are acutely aware of the difficulties that some customers are experiencing due to the combined effect of the Covid-19 pandemic, Christmas expenses and winter energy bills. We have a rigorous engagement process in place to help customers who are facing such difficulties, to ensure we continue to offer them the best support.
The continuation of our disconnection moratorium until March 2021 means that all of our residential and business customers can also rest assured that they will have the comfort of energy supply in the coming months. We are making a promise that we feel proud of - that no home or business will be left in the dark this winter due to payment difficulties. We would also like to remind any customer experiencing financial hardship to contact us and we will work with them to agree a payment plan suited to their individual circumstances.
Electric Ireland is also doing its part for vulnerable customers during this particularly difficult time and before the holiday break announced an additional support initiative for those most at risk.
Support for vulnerable customers
Alongside extending its moratorium on disconnections, Electric Ireland also announced a support initiative for its most vulnerable customers, which saw the energy supplier credit the bills of approximately 10,000 people with €100 ahead of the Christmas period.
The initiative to help those in need during the pandemic is part of Electric Ireland’s Brighter Together Energy Programme which was launched earlier in 2020.
Speaking about the additional help for more vulnerable Electric Ireland customers, Sayers added:
We have almost 10,000 registered vulnerable customers, some of whom are critically dependent on electrically powered equipment, so we are delighted to support them with a million euro credit this Christmas. This will mean a credit of €100 for each customer. We hope this gesture from us will alleviate some pressure at the end of a challenging year.
Electric Ireland offers further assistance to vulnerable customers through its special services, which includes providing braille, large print or talking bills for visually impaired customers.
Freeze on energy prices
Electric Ireland has also previously confirmed that it will freeze its energy prices until at least 1st March. So hopefully this will be of comfort to customers as we head into the time of year when energy demand and costs are at their highest.
However if you are concerned about rising prices or are struggling with paying your bills, Electric Ireland is keen to highlight that help is at hand.
Get in touch with your supplier
If you're struggling to pay your energy bills the best thing to do is to get in contact and engage with your energy supplier first and foremost.
Electric Ireland is encouraging customers who find themselves in financial difficulty to do just that and is working with customers in line with the Energy Engage Code, a voluntary and supplier-led pledge which ensures customers at risk of disconnection remain connected to their supply.
Electric Ireland also works closely with organisations such as MABS (the Irish Money Advice and Budgeting Service), and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul to help individual customers who run into trouble pay their bills.
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