Sarah Holland, Sinn Féin candidate for Firhouse-Bohernabreena, has highlighted that some people aren’t receiving energy credits due to “low usage”. Vulnerable people have been rationing use in order to avoid huge bills, but have then been denied access to the Government emergency benefit scheme.
Ms Holland has called on consumers to appeal this directly with their suppliers, saying “Some people are staying cold as long as they can stand it in order to avoid huge bills. The last thing we want to see is people missing out on these energy credits because they have tried to ration use.”
The Government energy credits were announced in Budget 2024, with the payments supposed to have been credited to accounts from December onwards. However, some won’t receive these credits until the New Year, and some won’t receive them at all due to low usage.
Ms Holland has urged consumers to check their bills, get in touch with their suppliers if they have been denied the credits and complain to the Commission for Utilities Regulation if they have no joy with suppliers.
Ms Holland said “Suppliers have a responsibility to think twice before denying the credits for low usage. They should be aware that vulnerable, low income consumers could be trying to ration their energy use by staying cold and not using appliances. “Shopping centres and community centres are full of people, particularly the elderly, trying to stay warm and avoid using their electricity at home. “Those people should be protected and supported where possible, and the credits added to their accounts.”