This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
Dublin: 3 °C Wednesday 11 December, 2019

Utility firms recover €440,000 in unpaid bills

However, the number of legal actions against householders has dropped significantly since last year.

Image: Chris Radburn/PA Wire/Press Association Images

ELECTRICITY AND GAS firms have recovered more than €440,000 in unpaid bills this year by taking householders to court, new figures show.

However, the number of legal actions has dropped significantly since the beginning of the recession. Some 236 cases reached the courts this year, down from 834 in 2008, according to business analysis firm Vision-net.

The average value of judgements awarded against householders was €1,834. This has also fallen since last year, when the average was €2,757.

Christine Cullen, the managing director of Vision-net, said there was evidence of “some forbearance” among firms providing electricity, gas, heating oil and waste collection.

However, she said the figures showed many families are still struggling to pay for basic utilities. Earlier this year, the Irish League of Credit Unions said almost half of working adults are late paying at least one bill every month.

“As unemployment rises, salaries drop and social welfare expenditure tightens, people are missing their payments so utility companies are forced to pursue consumers through the courts,” Cullen said.

She called on utility firms to “work towards agreed solutions” rather than allowing unpaid bills to mount up.

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article

About the author:

Michael Freeman

Read next: