100,000 ESB customers agree to payment plans
THE number of people making special arrangements with the ESB to clear their debts has trebled in the last year.
In the first three months of 2011, around 100,000 customers of the state electricity company entered payment plans -- agreeing to pay off arrears in installments. This compared with just 30,000 in the same period of 2010.
ESB spokesman Brian Montayne said that the total number of people behind in their electricity bills is now around 150,000.This would represent over 11pc of their 1.35 million domestic customer base.
However, Mr Montayne said the big increase in the numbers entering payment plans -- many of whom agreed to clear arrears within two to three months -- meant fewer were racking up large bills.
Around 400 households were being cut off a month, but this was well down from the 900 a month last autumn, and around half of the disconnections involved vacant premises.