The Government has said that any misallocations of its €200 utility bill credit are a matter for Ireland’s energy providers after it emerged that the credit may have been applied to closed accounts.
South Dublin resident Eoin Kelly was recently informed by pre-pay power company Pinegy that the €200 credit had been applied to his meter by the company. Mr Kelly has not been a customer of Pinergy for more than a year, though the company confirmed the credit to him by phone call.
The utility credit was also applied to his new account with a different provider. The €400m measure, which applies to 2.25 million electricity accounts, was introduced by the Government at the beginning of March as a means to help people struggling with sky-rocketing energy bills.
Mr Kelly described the blanket application of the credit to all meters as “a daft way of doing it”.
“Now, in effect, I have €400 without asking for it,” he said.
Mr Kelly’s story raises questions as to whether or not the utility suppliers may have received some portion of the Government subsidy which they did not need since the meters in question are no longer active under their control.
The Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications declined to say how much of the energy credit may have been assigned to closed or dormant accounts.
“Suppliers receive monies transferred to them by the ESB Networks. Then, within the period prescribed under regulations, the suppliers credit each domestic electricity account held with them on the effective date,” a spokesperson said.
A spokesperson for Pinergy, meanwhile, said that “as part of the preparation for the scheme, Pinergy has agreed a list of qualifying meters on Pinergy electricity supply with ESB Networks”, adding that all credited meters “were on Pineergy Supply on March 29, 2022, and thus there should be no misallocations”.
However, they added that “a small number of people” whose registration remains live on their app “may have received an email confirming their old meter has been credited”.
Pineergy is one of three Irish energy suppliers to provide electricity via prepay contracts, the others being PrepayPower.ie and Electric Ireland. Neither company responded to a request for comment. Energia, likewise, did not reply to a query from the .
A spokesperson for Bord Gais Energy, which provides both gas and electricity to 680,000 Irish customers, said that the energy credit “has been applied to Bord Gáis Energy customer accounts in line with CRU (Commission for Regulation of Utilities) guidelines”.