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Here's how many homes had their gas and electricity disconnected last year

There has been a decline in disconnection of both gas and electricity, the Commission for Energy Regulation said today.

Image: Gas via Shutterstock

NEW DATA SHOWS that the number of domestic disconnections of both gas and electricity fell in 2013.

The Commission for Energy Regulation has just published a document which shows that there were 5,895 gas disconnections and 10,122 electricity disconnections.

Domestic disconnections have declined in both gas and in electricity in 2013
compared to 2012, by 15.86 per cent and 30.86 per cent, respectively.

Reducing disconnections

The CER has been examining how more could be done to reduce disconnections – and imposed a temporary moratorium on disconnections while doing so earlier this year. The moratorium was lifted on 20 February.

It is believed that a significant number of disconnected properties are actually vacant, said the CER.

cer disconnections

The CER said that it is likely that the decline in disconnections, particularly in electricity, “can be attributed to some extent to the increase in the installation of PAYG meters for financial hardship”.

On average in 2013, it is estimated that approximately 40 per cent of disconnected electricity sites were vacant sites, while in gas, it is estimated that approximately 36 per cent of sites were vacant.

Highest rates of disconnection

cer domestic disconnections Electricity disconnections by supplier, Q1 2012 - Q4 2013

The data shows that all suppliers now have relatively similar rates of disconnection.

Electric Ireland had the highest disconnection rate in Q4 of 2013, but the disconnection rate of all suppliers reduced compared to Q4 in 2012.

Bord Gáis Energy has attributed the decline in its disconnections in Q4 to the mild weather which resulted in a lack of arrears accumulating for customers.

Electric Ireland – which has seen a drop of 20 per cent in electricity disconnections in
2013 – said that its continued efforts to reduce the level of disconnections has seen a drop of 30 per cent in Q4 when compared with the corresponding quarter in 2012.

It also said that over 200,000 payment plans have been agreed with its customers in arrears. Meanwhile, SSE Airtricity said that the reduction in disconnections is due to PAYG meters, which it considers beneficial in avoiding disconnection.

In February 2014, there were 130 electricity disconnections by Electric Ireland, 54 by SSE Airtricity, 23 by Bord Gáis Energy, with a total of 207 domestic disconnections.

Gas disconnections

cer domestic gas

Domestic gas disconnections made up over 93 per cent of total gas disconnections
in 2013, and declined by up 15.8 per cent compared to 2012.

Increases were experienced by SSE Airtricity and Electric Ireland, while Bord Gáis Energy and Flogas had a lower level of domestic disconnections in 2013 compared to
2012.

Again, it is considered that the increase in the use of PAYG meters has contributed to the decline in disconnections. There were 55 domestic gas disconnections in February of this year.

Prices

Meanwhile, new data out today on the EU28 shows that household electricity prices rose by 2.8 per cent on average between the second half of 2012 and the second half of 2013.

This is after an increase of 6 per cent between the second half of 2011 and 2012.

  • Household gas prices increased by 1 per cent on average in the same countries, between the second half of 2012 and 2013.  This is after a rise of 8.2 per cent between the second half of 2011 and 2012.

In Ireland, the average price of 100kWh of electricity in the second half of 2013 was €24.1, making it one of the countries with the highest electricity costs, behind Denmark (€29.2), Germany (€29.2) and Cyprus (€24.8).

The cost of electricity rose by 5.1 per cent between the second half of 2012 and 2013.

The average price across the EU28 was €20.10.

When it came to gas, the average price in Europe was €7.1 per 100kWh, with Ireland’s average household gas price for this amount of gas standing at €7.20.

The gas price saw an increase of 7.4 per cent in Ireland between the second half of 2012 and 2013.

Read: First Bord Gáis, now Electric Ireland: Gas prices to rise by 35 cent per week>

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