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CRU beefs up protection for energy customers
Pic: RollingNews.ie

25 Aug 2022 / regulation Print

CRU beefs up protection for energy customers

The State’s energy regulator, the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU), has moved to put in place extra protections for electricity and gas customers over the coming winter months.

The watchdog said that the measures were being introduced because of the current volatility in global energy prices.

They include an extension of the current moratorium period for disconnections.

The announcement follows a review of the CRU Supplier Handbook, which sets out the minimum service requirements for energy suppliers – including how they should protect customers.

The CRU said that the review was aimed at identifying how such measures could be strengthened to protect people facing higher energy prices.

Vulnerable customers

Under the current rules, firms cannot disconnect customers between mid-December and mid-January, while an extended period – from 1 November to 31 March – is in place for customers registered as vulnerable.

These periods will now be extended – from 1 December to 28 February for all domestic customers, and from 1 October to 31 March for vulnerable customers.

Suppliers are also being told to actively promote the protections offered by the register of vulnerable customers.

Review in 2023

A new measure will allow customers a minimum of two years to repay debt under debt-repayment plans. This measure will be in place from 1 November.

Suppliers must also place customers with a financial-hardship meter on the cheapest available tariffs from 1 December. There is no requirement to do this under the current rules.

From 1 October, the percentage of pay-as-you-go top-ups that suppliers can deduct to repay debts will fall from 25% to 10%.

CRU chair Aoife MacEvilly said that the new requirements would remain in place, subject to future reviews, with the first of these taking place in summer 2023.

Gazette Desk
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