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Number of people having gas and electricity cut off has tripled

Almost 7,000 customers had their gas or electricity disconnected in the first three months of this year.

THE NUMBER OF people who have had their gas or electricity supplies cut off almost tripled in the first three months of this year.

Almost 7,000 customers – the vast majority of them residential –  had their energy disconnected between January and March.

Over 5,000 electricity customers had their supply cut off compared to 3,298 during the same period in 2011.

A total of 1,892 gas customers were cut off between January and March compared to 677 in 2011, according to the figures released today by the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER).

Altogether 91 per cent of gas customers and 83 per cent of electricity customers  were residential customers.

Sinn Féin TD Seán Crowe said the figures were “ominous” and particularly frightening considering that last winter was unseasonably mild.

“The people most at risk from the cold and hypothermia are the elderly and young children. A severe winter will result in deaths as families struggle to heat their homes,” said Crowe.

“Bord Gáis and Airtricity claim they are doing everything possible to avoid disconnection but these figures clearly show they are not doing enough”.

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