Date Released: 17 December 2013
Electricity consumers using prepay meters are spending significantly more than those paying the ESB and other suppliers through the traditional billing system.
Retired public service worker, Anne Dunleavy, has estimated that she is paying 75 cent per daymore for electricity since she installed a meter in her home in Raheny, north Dublin.
Based on a comparison with her final ESB bill, Ann Dunleavy has calculated that she is putting €4.25 per day into her meter whereas she was paying €3.50 per day on her ESB bill.
The private companies promoting and installing meters argue that they help customers to monitor and reduce their electricity consumption.
However, in the case of Ann Dunleavy and others contacted by Liberty, the cost of the service could mean customers paying in excess of €273.75 per year for their electricity and even more when the discounts regularly given to users by the ESB, Electric Ireland, Bord Gais and Airtricity are taken into account Ann and her husband Tony, who is also retired, had a Prepay Power meter installed in mid-November and closed their account with Electric Ireland.
In just20 days, from 14th November to 4th December, she fed €85 intothe meter, which beeps incessantly when the meter runs low. Comparing it with her closing bill she discovered that she was paying 75 cent per day more for the service. While installation of the meter was free, she is locked intoa 12-month contract.
“I find that I am constantly feeding the meter machine. We thought it would be a good way of monitoring usage but it has turned out to be significantly more expensive than the ESB service. People should be warned that pre-pay meters can add significantly to their electricity bill,” she said.