ESB to replace 27,000 meters that may have overcharged customers
ESB says it will test the meters and give refunds to those who have been overcharged
ESB says the network is primarily concerned with a batch of 17,000 meters that it estimates 10 per cent could be faulty. Photograph: ESB Networks
ESB Network is recalling about 27,000 electricity meters over concerns a fault has caused some domestic customers to be charged incorrectly.
The utility company said the meters would be tested and money would be refunded to people who were overcharged.
An ESB spokesman said letters had been written to 27,000 customers affected by the component in the meter that has the potential to fail, and that their meters would be tested and replaced in the coming months.
He said the network is primarily concerned with a batch of 17,000 meters that it estimates 10 per cent could be faulty.
“ESB Networks would like to assure all affected customers that there is no safety risk with the failure of this component,” he said.
ESB Networks spokeswoman Bernadine Moloney said it would take months for staff to examine all the 27,000 meters, which were installed mostly in apartments between 2007 and 2008.
Ms Moloney told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland they would immediately target customers who have experienced a spike in their electricity bills.
“There is no safety issue. Customers will not lose supply, the meter just stops reading,” she said.
She said the network was first alerted to the issue some months ago and contacted the manufacturer on December 1st and had a meeting with them on December 8th.
Sinn Féin TD John Brady called on the Minister for Communications Denis Naughten to ensure a procedure for repayments to be put in place as quickly 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.”
ESB Networks have confirmed that they will begin replacing the batch of 27,000 meters in January and it expected to take one year to complete this replacement project.