• Cyril McAree

COVID-19 Supply Suspension Scheme

The COVID-19 Supply Suspension Scheme is part of the Commission for Regulation of Utilities’ (CRU) response to the unique and extraordinary circumstances presented by COVID-19. The objective of this response is to support Small and Medium sized Enterprises to manage the costs associated with their energy connection when temporarily closed as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. The standard network charging approach has therefore been amended so that customers who avail of the Scheme will have no estimated energy charges. In addition, network capacity charges will be reduced to zero, while standing charges will be lowered by €7.97 and €74.72 per month (excl. VAT) for DG5 and DG6 supplies respectively, for the duration that the Scheme is in place.

The Scheme is to commenced the 1st May and is expected to be in place for a period of 3-months, approx. 90 days. As the Scheme was designed to primarily address an issue arising from the suspension of meter reading activity, the Scheme is limited to businesses with a DG5 or DG6 electricity meter and/or a NDM (Non Daily Meter) Industrial & Commercial gas meters. Customers must apply through their supplier as your energy supplier will be responsible for submitting your completed application to the respective network companies (ESBN and GNI) who will process your application and include you in the Scheme. Once the relevant network company confirms that your site has been included in the Scheme, your supplier will contact you to let you know. Note: · Doesn’t apply to the PSO levy. Suppliers must charge and collect it under Electricity Act. · Applies from when customer’s application is validated by ESBN or GNI. E.g. if customer validated on 10 May, customer will receive benefit for 80 days. No retrospection. Therefore please contact your supplier and register today 30 April 2020 in advance of tomorrows start date. · Change of Supply (COS) cannot be made whilst any client is availing of this scheme. · You will need a copy of your bill to have all details to hand when contacting your supplier. Benefits: · Once a customer applies, ESB or Gas Networks will set the site’s EUF (Estimated Usage Forecast) to zero. · Once a read is taken when businesses return you will then be charged for any consumption during lockdown. If you have an AMR meter your consumption will be automatic and will appear on your bill, if you have a NQH or offline meter you will fall into the category of being billed zero consumption until lockdown is lifted and networks start collecting and processing meter reads as normal. · ESB or Gas Networks will issue credit note to your supplier for the fixed element of network charges. · Assists liquidity of suppliers in not being liable for Use of System charges that are not due. · Mitigates overcharging due to absence of actual reads · Avoids unnecessary disconnections What happens when the scheme ends? · Billing will return to normal, although estimated consumption will take time to return to normal until a number of actual reads are obtained. · When actual reads are taken, any actual consumption arising will be billed. It’s a good idea to submit reads to help with this process when the business reopens. · Standing Charges and Capacity will be billed as per their current tariff. So far today the below suppliers have provided details of how to access and register for the scheme, see below: Link for Pinergy Customers here. Link for Energia Customers here. Link for Electric Ireland Customers here.

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