One in eight in electricity arrears - WLR FM
Between April and June this year, one in eight households were in arrears with their electricity supplier. This amounts to around 256,000 in total, an increase of 55,000 from the first quarter of 2023.
Daragh Cassidy, Head of Communications at bonkers.ie, appeared on WLR FM to discuss these alarming statistics, and to talk about the state of energy prices generally.
Listen to the interview above or look at the main points discussed below.
Main points from the interview:
- The Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) is the primary regulator of energy in Ireland. They recently released figures that highlight the number of households struggling with their energy bills.
- As well as those in arrears for electricity, nearly 170,000 households, or 24% of the total, were behind on their gas bills.
- A mixture of high prices and government support coming to an end have contributed to the increased numbers of households in arrears.
- There will be pressure on the Government to announce further supports for households this winter in the upcoming budget.
- As suppliers begin to cut prices, there is unlikely to be an energy price war, as all suppliers buy from the same wholesale markets. Even with the price decreases, prices are still around double what they were before the energy crisis.
- If you are coming to the end of your contract, it is time to start shopping around. Even if you switch now, you will still be able to avail of the lower prices as they come in.
- Discounts of up to 20% are available, which could save you hundreds of euro over the course of the year.
- If you are in arrears, it is best practice to contact your supplier. They will be able to set up a payment plan, and some have hardship funds in place. It is also worth looking into social welfare benefits that could be available to you.
- If you are having constructive contact with your supplier, they legally cannot cut you off.
- Switching to a cheaper supplier and availing of the discounts available could be the difference between falling into arrears and not, so it is always worth shopping around for the best deal.
- If you are in credit with your supplier, and decide to switch, they will refund you as part of the closing bill.
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