The ESB is to replace some 27,000 meters across the country over concerns that a fault has led them to overcharge some customers.
It has written to all to all affected customers this week and will be arranging to replace and test the meters over the next number of months. If a customer has been found to have a faulty meter giving inaccurate readings, a refund will be issued.
The ESB became aware of the problem a number of months ago when it was contacted by a customer. It subsequently contacted the manufacturer of the meters on December 1 and had a meeting with them on December 8.
It has been advised by the manufacturer that there may be potential for a component within the meters to fail and estimates that approximately 17,000 meters may contain this suspect component, with indications of a 10% failure rate within this specific batch.
The failure causes the meter to over-record for a short period of time and then the meter stops working entirely. This does not interfere with the supply of electricity and the utility apologised to customers for the fault. “ESB Networks would like to assure all affected customers that there is no safety risk with the failure of this component,” said a statement.
Sinn Féin TD John Brady has called on Communications Minister Denis Naughten to ensure refunds for affected customers to be issued as soon as possible.
“The Energy Regulator is aware of this and I would call on the minister to ensure that a procedure for repayments is put in place as swiftly as possible. I would also urge the minister to engage with the Energy Regulator to ensure that this process is dealt with and anyone who is out of pocket as a result of this incident are reimbursed as soon as possible,” he said.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved