ESB's low usage fee will hit mostly holiday homes
VACANT holiday homes may account for many of the 100,000 customers facing higher electricity bills, Energy Minister Pat Rabbitte has said.
Electric Ireland confirmed yesterday that it had introduced a new 'low user standing charge' from February 1 for customers using two units or less per day in a two-month billing period.
Around 100,000 of the energy firm's 1.3 million customers will now face higher bills.
Electric Ireland is not recouping the costs of the connection and meter servicing on such households. ESB spokesman Brian Montayne said the alternative was increasing the standing charge for all customers.
Low-usage households face an increase of €9.45 in each bi-monthly bill or €56.70 a year.
Customers with payment plans, or on allowances such as pensioners, will not be affected.
Bord Gais, which has 450,000 electricity clients, is not planning to up low-usage charges.