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Ferris calls for change in disconnections policy

29 September, 2010 - by Martin Ferris TD

The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Energy Martin Ferris TD has called on the energy supply companies to introduce changes in their policy regarding the disconnection of supply to customers who have arrears. The Kerry North/Limerick West TD was speaking at a committee meeting addressed by the major gas and electricity supply companies and a representative of the Energy Regulator.

Deputy Ferris said:

“Figures released by the ESB and Bord Gáis illustrate the dramatic rise in disconnections as many people find themselves in arrears. I am already on record in opposing the steep increases of recent years, which I argued were out of line with global energy costs. I have also raised the issue of disconnections.

“With regard to people who do find themselves in financial difficulties the companies ought to enter into negotiations and come to an arrangement short of cutting off supply. While there are undoubtedly cases where that is justified, in the vast majority of instances we are talking about people who are in genuine difficulty. Often they are attempting to budget from low incomes over a wide range of payments including accommodation and energy.

“I am calling on the companies therefore to immediately implement a change in policy which takes into account all of those factors and which will prevent many people finding themselves without the means to heat or cook for themselves over the winter.” ENDS

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