Difficulty Paying Your Bill (Covid-19)
With recent developments due to the COVID 19 pandemic, more people may experience difficulty in paying their utility bills in the coming weeks. If you are experiencing difficulties for any reason, you should contact your energy supplier as soon as possible.
The CRU would urge all customers to continue to top up and pay bills as normal to the best of their ability to avoid building up debt. For Customers who are having difficulties paying your bills, the CRU have structures in place to assist customers to get back on track.
The remainder of this page sets out scenarios some customers may find themselves in during this time along with what you should do, should you find yourself in this scenario.
I’m having difficulty paying my bill
In the event that you are facing difficulty paying your electricity or gas bill, you should contact your supplier and seek to come to agreement on a payment plan. The CRU require suppliers to have trained staff in place, who will deal with your case sympathetically. Suppliers must arrange practical payment plans to assist domestic customers who have built up arrears. Any repayment arrangements must take into account the customer’s circumstances and must be reasonable and affordable.
PAYG - Gas
I am a Pay-As-You-Go gas customer how do I top up my meter?
- You can purchase gas credit in your local shop or post office.
Please review this short clip which provides instructions on how to top up your meter.
What if I am unable to get to the shops to purchase credit for my gas meter?
- Customers with gas prepayment (PAYG) meters cannot top up remotely (online or over the phone). Given that some customers may not be able to reach a retail outlet regularly during this time, the CRU has taken the decision to increase emergency credit levels for all gas prepayment customers from €10 to €100. This measure is being applied to allow customers to remain connected for a period even if they cannot continue to purchase credit regularly as usual. It is important to note that this sum must be paid back in full at a later date to ensure continuity of supply.
The CRU encourages all customers to continue to top up as normal, to the best of their ability, to avoid building up debt.
The following video should provide you with guidance on accessing emergency credit
I cannot afford to top up my gas meter, what should I do?
- To update the emergency credit on a gas prepayment meter, customers must initially bring the gas pre-payment card to a shop and complete a vend for this update to apply. This can be registered as a “zero value” during the process and the emergency credit on the card should then be automatically topped up to €100.
- Once this process is completed, in the event that customers cannot reach a retail outlet over the coming weeks, there will now be additional credit to this value on the meter to allow gas to continue to flow for a longer period of time than usual.
- It should be noted that customers who have existing Emergency Credit Debt on the meter before the update will have to pay off the emergency credit debt before being able to avail of the increased emergency credit value. It may take multiple vends to pay the debt off.
- Agencies such as MABS or the Department of Employment and Social Affairs may be able to assist.
PAYG - Electricity
I am a Pay-As-You-Go electricity customer how do I top up my meter?
- You can purchase electricity credit in your local shop, post office, online or over the phone.
I cannot afford to top up my electricity meter, what should I do?
- If the credit on your meter runs low, you will be offered €10 emergency credit. The €10 will then be deducted automatically from your next top-up amount. Please note: It is best to only use emergency credit when you really need it as you will need to pay it all back before you can use it again. If electricity customers use all their emergency credit, they will need to top up by at least €15 to use it again.
- Agencies such as MABS or the Department of Employment and Social Affairs may be able to assist you.
I am concerned about my business’s ability to pay its bills, what can I do?
- Business customers should continue to pay their bills as normal to the best of their ability. If you are experiencing difficulties for any reason, you should contact your supplier and engage with them on the matter as soon as possible. Your supplier may be able to discuss a suitable payment/budget plan.
The CRU is monitoring the situation
The CRU has already taken a number of measures to protect domestic customer including:
- increasing the emergency credit for gas prepayment meters from €10 to €100.
The CRU has also issued a moratorium on disconnections of domestic customers for non-payment. This means that no disconnections will take place up until April 19 2020, after which the CRU will further assess the situation. The CRU is continuing to monitor the market at this time and will take action, where appropriate to protect customers.
We are here to help you, so if you have questions about any of the items mentioned on this page, please feel free to contact the CRU’s Customer Care Team.
To see the different ways to contact us, to find out how, visit the Customer Care Team page.