Customers may find themselves in vulnerable situations at different times. This may result in customers having difficulties when dealing with their suppliers and network operators. These customers are entitled to additional protection.
What Protections Are In Place for Vulnerable Customers?
Whether you are an energy customer or a customer of Irish Water, there are a range of additional protection measures in place for registered vulnerable customers. This includes measures around communication, disconnection and other important areas.
Each energy supplier and Irish Water has produced a code of practice on vulnerable customers. The CRU monitor and audit compliance with these Codes of Practice to ensure vulnerable customers are protected. You can also review the CRU’s document showing the key points that must be included in the code of practice.
Please see CRU’s requirements around the Code of Practice for Vulnerable Customers in the following document website links:
Electricity and Gas Customers: CRU Energy and Gas Suppliers’ Handbook pages 43-47
Irish Water Customers : CRU Irish Water Domestic Customer Handbook pages 26-30
Am I a Vulnerable Customer?
For energy customers you could be classified as a vulnerable customer if you meet the following criteria:
- If you are critically dependent on electrically powered equipment. This includes (but is not limited to) life protecting devices, assistive technologies to support independent living and medical equipment, or
- If you are particularly vulnerable to disconnection during winter months for reasons of advanced age or physical, sensory, intellectual or mental health.
For customers of Irish Water, you could be classified as a vulnerable customer if you meet the following criteria:
- If you are critically dependant on water for their medical needs, or
- If for reasons that may include advanced age or physical, sensory, intellectual or mental health reasons, you require additional support communicating with, or receiving services from, Irish Water.
What Should I do if I’m a Vulnerable Customer?
If you are a member of your household is a vulnerable customer, it is important to let your energy supplier and/or Irish Water know. Energy suppliers and Irish Water are required to establish, maintain and regularly update a register of vulnerable customers. They must also take reasonable steps to identify household customers who should be included, however, it is also up to you to let them know if you are a vulnerable customer.
Energy suppliers and Irish Water are required to provide customers with a free and easy way to register as a vulnerable customer. You should contact your supplier to discuss how you can register as a vulnerable customer.