Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action

Citizen and Community Measures: Discussion

Photo of Alice Mary HigginsAlice Mary Higgins (Independent) | Oireachtas source

I am conscious that the time available to me is limited. I might put some brief questions to Dr. McGowan and his colleagues because they will not have much time in which to respond. I will begin with a specific question.

Is the regulator concerned about grid offers? Is there a point of expiration in a planning process that follows the grid offer? It is a technical question.

I have some other issues and concerns that I would like to put to the regulator. One of the concerns mentioned about smart metering relates to the threat of disconnection. Approximately ten years ago it was the practice of the ESB to have a buffer reserve fund to cover cases of non-payment. I think the regulators at the time required the ESB to get rid of the non-payment fund to facilitate competition. I accept that there is a code of practice. On a practical level, might it be necessary to ensure all operators have some buffer fund to cover cases of non-payment, especially as we move towards smart metering? It was pulled away from some years ago, but it might need to be reintroduced.

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