Pinergy Code Of Practice
Pinergy Code Of Practice
MARKETING AND ADVERTISING
In this code of practice, the word ‘customer’ refers to existing and potential customers.
All marketing and advertising of products and services, including the pages on our website containing tariff and/or price information and sales calls, will be fair and transparent in both content and format of presentation and appropriate to the customer to whom it is directed.
Customers will not be burdened by unwanted, unfair or misleading marketing or advertising methods
Marketing material will be easy to understand in plain and accessible language, accurate, specify clearly the product being marketed and the period it covers (radio ad is exempt from the latter).
The validity period for the offer will be noted. When the end date is unknown, the ‘valid from’ date will be included (radio ad is exempt).
All tariff comparisons will be dated and will compare “like with like.” The customer will be made aware that tariffs are subject to change.
Any discounts will be clearly set out showing any difference in all charges (radio ad is exempt).
For all fixed rate tariffs that contain components that are subject to change, these will be clearly highlighted and the customer will be made aware of this (radio ad is exempt).
Duration of fixed term contract and reference to early termination fees, if applicable (radio ad is exempt).
We will only advertise product as Green Source Products where they have been verified by the CRU. In case any of these products are yet under verification but the CRU has agreed with such advertisement, they will be flagged as Green Source Product, but with the following caveat included prominently “Subject to verification by the CRU under the CRU’s Green Source Product Verification process” (radio ad is exempt).
No agent will misrepresent the firm or portray competitors in a negative or inaccurate way.
No agent will provide misleading information or apply undue pressure in order to gain or regain a customer.
Our agents will not exploit a person’s inexperience or vulnerability.
Estimated Annual Bill – EAB will be displayed on all marketing and advertisements which promote a specific energy offer(s), or include any reference to price / tariffs, discounts, savings or cost, including the Standard Smart Tariff – SST. Regarding time-of use tariffs, other time of use tariffs than the SST and adverts where the previously topics are not presented are exempt from presenting the EAB.
PRESENTATION OF INFORMATION ON PROMOTIONS
If we engage in a special promotion of a product or service, we will make the current or potential customer aware of any time limit of any kind which applies.
We will also make customers aware of any change in conditions which may occur once the period of the promotion expires.
Where changes in terms and conditions are made, we will inform customers in writing, by top-up voucher, email or post, at least thirty days in advance.
PRESENTATION OF INFORMATION ON TARIFFS
We will present tariffs in accordance with the detailed requirements of the Commission for Regulation of Utilities. These are outlined in The CRU’s Supplier Handbook.
We will publish all publicly available tariffs for household customers prominently on the Pinergy website.
CUSTOMER SIGN UP
- When a customer signs up, we will:
- Ensure that Pinergy is clearly identified as the new supplier.
- Confirm that the person transferring the supply to us has the authority to do so and that if they are opening the account in someone else’s name, that they have the authority to do so and to ensure that the authority of any joint named account holder is obtained.
- Allow the customer to nominate a third-party contact to their account.
- Ensure that the product has been explained to you and provide you with details of the tariff and charges associated with that product.
- Ensure that any discount or energy offer is fully explained.
- Assess the suitability of the PAYG service and ensure that the customer understands in general terms how the pay-as-you-go budget controller will work
- Ensure that the customer understands how they can top-up
- Ensure the customer understands any minimum contract period that applies, including an expected commencement date and an expected end date for their new supply contract.
- Ensure the customer is aware of cooling off provisions, including start and end dates. We will inform them of procedures in order to cancel their contract within 30 days from the day on which the contract is concluded, known as the cooling off period.
- Explain any deposit, in the unlikely event that this is required.
- Explain how the customer’s existing account will be closed and the new account will be opened with us.
- Request the customer to submit an opening read in order to open the account with us. If an actual reading is not available, the account with the current supplier will be closed based on an estimated reading, and the account with us will be open based on the same estimate.
- In the absence of a customer reading, we inform that estimated reads may not be accurate due to the lack of historic usage information, which may impact billing.
- Ensure that the terms make reference to the debt flagging process, if this is appropriate.
- Ensure that the customer receives a copy of the terms and conditions
- Ensure that the terms and conditions explain any penalty that may apply if the terms and conditions are not met.
- Ensure that the terms and conditions have adequate and sufficient information in plain language about: the use of the emergency credit, the period when the supply of energy will not be cut off, what happens at low credit, and conditions under which disconnection will occur;
- Explain to the customer that standing charges will still apply even during periods of no consumption.
We will ascertain if the customer is eligible to register as a vulnerable customer and advise the customer of the steps to take should they wish to register as a vulnerable customer.
CUSTOMER CONTACT BY TELEPHONE
In any telephone contact by us, the caller will identify himself by name, identify themselves as calling from Pinergy, and explain the purpose of the call. They will give a contact number on request.
If told by a customer that the customer does not wish to continue the call, we will end the call.
We will not make contact with customers for marketing purposes:
- Before 9am or after 9pm on weekdays and before 9am and after 7pm on Saturday
- on Christmas Eve, any Public or Bank Holiday
- on Sundays,
Unless specifically requested by a customer.
CUSTOMER CONTACT IN PERSON
When we engage in marketing at the customer’s home (without appointment) or by personal contact, the representative will produce an identity card showing his/her full name and photograph and our name, business address and contact number. This card will be shown again if requested by the customer.
Our representative will advise the customer the purpose of the visit/contact and enquire if the customer wishes to proceed. The customer will be provided with a copy of the standard doorstep checklist prior to commencement of the sales pitch and in advance of any sale being progressed.
If whilst at the customer’s home, the customer does not wish to proceed with the pitch at any time, the representative will cease and leave the premises immediately and the customer will be removed from the contact list if the customer wishes.
If the customer contact is anywhere other than the customer’s home (for example, in a shopping centre, or on the street, the representative will end the sales pitch if the customer does not wish to proceed.
We will actively confirm that the customer has read and understood the doorstep checklist and that the customer understands that they are switching to a specified product with a specified payment method.
We will provide them with a cancellation form should they wish to cancel their contract in the future.
We will not make contact with customers at their premises for marketing purposes:
- Before 9am or after 9pm on weekdays and before 9am or after 7pm on Saturdays.
- on Christmas Eve, any Public or Bank Holiday,
- on Sundays
Unless specifically requested by the customer.
CUSTOMER CONTACT VIA EMAIL OR SMS
Where we engage in marketing to potential customers by email or SMS, we obtain the ‘opt in’ of the customer prior to contacting them.
Where a customer is contacted via email for marketing purposes, we will clearly provide the following information:
- Our name and address.
- Our email address or other means of electronic contact.
- Our contact number.
- An easy method of unsubscribing/removal of your email address or mobile phone number from future messages at no cost to you.
For SMS, we will provide our name and an easy way to opt out of receiving further messages, again at no cost to you.
Where the customer chooses to ‘opt out’ of future marketing, we do not contact the customer for the purpose of marketing again, unless requested to do so by the customer or unless the customer otherwise agrees.
CONDUCT WHEN CUSTOMERS DO NOT WISH TO BE CONTACTED
Where a customer confirms that they do not wish to be contacted again for marketing purposes, we will log this request and remove the customer within 14 days from our marketing database in line with data protection law. The customer will not be contacted again for marketing purposes unless further consent is given. Should the customer require written confirmation of “opt out,” this will be given within 28 days of receipt of request.
Where we engage an external agency to conduct direct marketing on our behalf, any request by a customer to be removed from the contact list is forwarded to that company.
We respect a customer’s right to privacy and use personal information only for purposes consistent with this.
CONDUCT UPON COMPLETION OF WIN-BACK OR RETENTION ACTIVITY
We will follow the sign up process and comply with all conditions within this Code of Practice not only when the customer decides to move in with us, but also:
- Where a customer decides to switch away but later reconsiders their decision and cancel the change of supplier before the process has been completed by the DSO, or after the change of supplier completion but within the cooling off period.
- Where a customer reaches out to renegotiate their contract before the end date, or where the customer hands out a notice informing they will switch away at the end of the contract and upon negotiation the customer decides to stay.
We provide electricity to households on a pay-as-you-go basis. The payment for and use of electricity by our customers is regulated by a budget controller. Customers must pay for the electricity they use in advance. Further details are included in the Pay-as-you-go Code of Practice.
Even though customers do not pay in response to a bill based on the meter reading, it is still important that the customer’s meter is read regularly. We will provide support to industry initiatives to improve the quality of meter reading by advising customers (through messages on the statement or information leaflets) of the importance of providing the relevant Network Operator with access to meters.
Customers on pay-as-you-go products do not receive a bill; however, customers receive an annual statement, which details the opening and closing reading and the consumption according to the ESB Networks meter, the cost of the electricity services consumed, and the amount that has been paid for through purchasing top-ups.
The annual electricity statements will be made accessible to customers as per their preferred communication format, including in writing sent by post. Paperless-only tariffs may be offered, but in this case it will be clear in the Terms and Conditions of the product, and will as a minimum include an electronic bill sent to the customer or made available in a downloadable format.
We accept payment for electricity by cash (over the counter in Payzone outlets), by credit or debit card over the phone and via our Smart App and SMS.
TARIFFS AND PRICES
We will notify customers directly of any increase in charges or change in discounts 30 days in advance of the new tariffs taking effect. We will make this information available through the top-up voucher, through the budget controller itself, through our website, by email, through a newspaper advertisement in a national newspaper and by text message, together with the date on which the change will take place.
We do not require a deposit.
CLOSING ACCOUNT AND ISSUING FINAL BILL
Customers should contact us in writing or by telephone to close the account.
Where the customer vacates or switches supplier, we will supply a final statement, free of charge, within six weeks together with refund of any credit due if applicable by credit transfer or cheque. The customer should submit a final reading in order to close the account. If an actual reading is not available, the account will be closed based on an estimated reading. Access to their consumption data will also be provided, in an appropriate way and free of charge.
ARREARS AND ARRANGEMENTS FOR IDENTIFYING AND DEALING WITH CUSTOMERS IN DIFFICULTY.
Our service is designed to give customers access to energy and to allow them to regulate their usage within their budget. The Pinergy-supplied budget controller is in addition to the electricity meter provided by ESB Networks. Although the budget controller is designed to measure electricity usage with very high accuracy, the ESB Networks meter remains the definitive record of the electricity used by the customer.
In the unlikely event that there is a discrepancy between the electricity measured by the ESB Networks meter, we will endeavour to determine the cause and remedy the situation without delay. We will address the discrepancy in according with our Code of Practice on Budget Controllers.
The use of a budget controller means that customers pay in advance and so should not run up arrears. In the unlikely event that customers do run up arrears (because of some technical failure) we will withdraw the electricity supply only as a last resort. Customer disconnection cases will be dealt with sympathetically particularly those in financial difficulty and limited ability to pay. We encourage customers to contact us early if they are having difficulties keeping up payments on their account. Meter recoups to the value of 25% of each top up will be considered as a means to avoid disconnection. We will facilitate situations where the customer wishes to nominate a third party contact to represent them in relation to their energy account.
If this arises, however, we may request ESB Networks to withdraw supply from a customer, subject to 10 working days’ notice in writing, and in accordance with the ESB Networks De-energisation Code of Practice, where:
- The customer has run up arrears and they have not been paid in agreement with the terms of their contract.
- The customer does not agree to a payment arrangement (for example, to have the amount owed subtracted from future top-ups, and so to repay the amount over a reasonable period) or breaks an agreed arrangement.
- The customer does not respond to any of our correspondence/ communications.
- The customer requests us to do so.
- In this instance, the person making the disconnection request must be the registered account holder or have the express permission of the account holder to disconnect the supply. In this instance also, arrears will still be recouped and standing charges may still apply.
We will not disconnect if:
- Arrears are being addressed by being repaid via top-ups in accordance with the Budget Controller Code of Practice. In the event that a payment plan is agreed to avoid disconnection, we will write to you to set out details of the payment plan within one week of the date that the plan is agreed.
- A complaint in relation to the matter which caused the arrears to arise is still being considered by us or by CRU
- The customer relies on a recognised life support system and Is appropriately registered in accordance with the Code of Practice on Vulnerable Customers
- It is the winter and the customer is appropriately registered in accordance with the Code of Practice on Vulnerable Customers
- Failure to pay a bill not related to electricity
- Where the customer is a member of any category of customer that the CRU may specify from time to time.
PROCESS FOR DISCONNECTION DUE TO NON-PAYMENT
The possibility of disconnecting a customer will only arise in exceptional circumstances. Every possible disconnection will be dealt with on its own merits, having regard to the particular situation. Each situation will be handled in a careful considered way, taking into account the needs of the customer as well as our needs.
At a minimum, however, we will take the following steps:
Before disconnecting, we will contact the customer and notify them of the possibility of disconnections in written letters sent by post at least twice and by telephone at least twice. These notifications will provide options for the customer to avoid disconnection including, payment plans, meter recoups among others.
If we can secure an appointment, we will visit the premises in order to find any technical or other problem which may have resulted in the arrears.
We will make these attempts in a timely manner, and each occasion on which we attempt to contact the customer will be separated by at least three days.
THE NOTICE TO CUSTOMERS WHICH WARNS OF THE IMPENDING DISCONNECTION WILL BE SENT IN WRITING AND WILL SPECIFY:
- That 10 working days’ notice, including the reason for disconnection, is being given of the intention to request ESB Networks to disconnect for non-payment.
- The costs associated with the disconnection and reconnection of the supply, including any additional costs if the disconnection is cancelled, or if no access is possible to the premises.
- That the person(s) carrying out the disconnection will not be in a position to accept payment of arrears.
- Contact details for a nominated support agency, such as MABS or another agency that is acceptable to CRU
- That arrears must still be paid notwithstanding the disconnection, and that standing charges still apply if the disconnection goes ahead.
- Contact details for us to discuss the terms on which the disconnection can be avoided.
No disconnection calls will be made on a Friday, Saturday, Sunday, eve of a Public Holiday or a Public Holiday. No request for disconnection of a household customer will be made until a ten-day period has expired after the sending of the disconnection notice.
ESB Networks may withdraw the supply at any time, where it is considered necessary to do so for safety reasons.
If we discover that a customer is vulnerable, we will advise the customer to make an application to immediately register with us as such. We will also consider whether our service is suitable for the customer, since their disability may make it unsuitable. We will seek to make a payment arrangement with the customer instead of disconnecting them.
CUSTOMERS WILL NOT HAVE THEIR SUPPLY WITHDRAWN WHERE:
- The customer agrees to settle any outstanding amount through a deduction from their top-ups, and that the outstanding amount reduces over time.
- The customer or a member of the household is dependent on recognised emergency medical equipment powered by electricity and has registered with us as an approved customer.
- The customer has registered elderly status (for the period from 1st November to 31st March). However, where a Pay-as-you-Go Budget Controller is installed, the protection from disconnection is waived should the customer fail to keep their Budget Controller topped up and maintain a credit balance on the Budget Controller.
- The customer is pursuing a complaint using our complaint handling procedures and the complaint is related to the reason for disconnection.
- The perceived shortfall in payments is based solely on an estimated meter reading.
RECONNECTION OF SUPPLY
Where the supply has been disconnected and the customer (or their representative) reaches a settlement with us, the supply will be reconnected as soon as possible in accordance with our standard terms and conditions and in accordance with ESB Network’s Reconnection Schedule.
Any possible disconnection situation is an extraordinary situation for us. Full records will be kept. Staff are trained to refer customers to advice agencies if appropriate.
DISCONNECTION OF A PREMISES WITH NO REGISTERED ACCOUNT HOLDER
If there is no registered occupant at the premises or the existing registered account holder has closed their account and we are still supplying the premises, we will issue a separate notice to the premises, in writing by letter, and at least 10 working days in advance of a formal request to disconnect the premises, due to no account holder being registered.
CODE OF PRACTICE FOR COMPLAINTS
Pinergy Pay as You Go customers can address their complaints as follows:
|0818 363 749
|Pinergy Suite 1 Beaver House, Beach Hill Office Campus, Clonskeagh, Dublin 4, D04 Y8X5, Ireland
All complaints will be reviewed and investigated. Complaints can be initiated by post, over the phone or by electronic communication.
While complaints over the phone are welcome, in some cases we may decide that because of its nature or its seriousness, or for some other good reason, that a complaint must be made in writing. Should this be the case we will explain why and ask you to make the complaint in writing.
Should English not be your preferred language or indeed you have other communication requirements, please contact us by any of the means above and we will communicate with you as appropriate.
Pinergy will accept complaints from third parties acting on behalf of a customer. We will seek confirmation from the customer that the third party has authority to act on their behalf.
We hope to provide a satisfactory response to your complaint by resolution, apology and/or some other appropriate form of redress within 10 working days of receipt. If for some reason we cannot respond to your complaint in this time, we will notify you in writing, within 10 working days, and advise you of the staff member dealing with your complaint.
Notwithstanding the above, a final answer on the complaint will be issued within two months of receipt of the complaint, except in cases where the customer is not engaging with us or the complaint requires technical expertise from 3rd parties that merit a time extension.
If we have responded to your complaint and you are still not satisfied with our response, you can escalate your complaint internally to the Operations Manager. The manager will then review your complaint and contact you within 5 working days and try to reach a satisfactory conclusion.
If for some reason we do not contact you or resolve your complaint within 10 working days you are entitled to compensation under our customer charter within 10 working days.
If you are not satisfied with the response, you may refer it to the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) Energy Customers Team for independent adjudication.
Other adequate methods of communicating with customers with vision impairments and hearing loss – Additional methods of communicating, including bills, will be provided upon request, which could include Braille communications, talking communications, large font communications, phone calls, text messaging, text relay calls, or video relay calls. In cases where a customer’s needs are best served by a non-durable format, this will be accompanied by a durable format (i.e. electronic and/or paper).
Your complaint will be accepted by the Energy Customers Team only if you have completed our complaints procedure as set out above.
CRU may be contacted as follows:
|1890 404 404
|Energy Customers Team
Commission for Regulation of Utilities,
P.O. Box 11934,
If we have failed to meet a guaranteed standard (either in our view or in the view of the CRU) and you are entitled to compensation or a refund, we will pay that compensation within 14 days. We will do so by cheque or by dispensing credit, depending on the preference of the customer.
We will send you written notice of closure of your complaint once you have completed the complaints handling process. This will include details of the CRU Energy Customers Team should you wish to escalate the complaint.
We recognise that some customers are especially dependent on their electricity supply and we take special care with these customers. In law, these customers are called ‘vulnerable customers’. A vulnerable customer is defined in legislation as a household customer who is:
a. critically dependent on electrically powered equipment, Priority Services Customer, which shall include but is not limited to life protecting devices, assistive technologies to support independent living and medical equipment, or
b. particularly vulnerable to disconnection during winter months (1st November to the 31st March), Special Services Customer, for reasons of advanced age or physical, sensory, intellectual or mental health.
For the purpose of this code, a Vulnerable Customer is a customer who has registered on our register. ‘Advanced age’ is considered to mean a customer of 66 years of age or older.
Our special care for these customers begins with the marketing and sign-up process and a reminder to all customers at least annually afterwards via an electronic or written communication, e.g. your energy statement or bill. We do not accept customers who are critically dependent (Priority Service Customers) on electrically powered equipment. Generally speaking, our product is not suitable for these customers. In the unlikely event that we have a Priority Service Customer, they will not be disconnected for non-payment.
Customers can register at any time by customers or their third-party representatives contacting us at the details below:
|0818 363 749
|Pinergy Suite 1 Beaver House, Beach Hill Office Campus, Clonskeagh, Dublin 4, D04 Y8X5, Ireland
We recognise that our customers’ needs change over time. If a customer finds that they are now reliant on home medical equipment, either life supporting or non-life supporting we would ask that they contact us using the details above and we will commence the registration process on their behalf. We will require the customer to complete a registration form and return to us as soon as possible, by email or post, as per the customers’ preference, free of charge. We will forward this information to ESB Networks for industry registration. This will enable ESB Networks to identify those customers who are most vulnerable to an energy supply interruption. We may accept customers who are vulnerable to disconnection during winter months, (Special Service Customers), mainly customers over 66. Special procedures are in place to make sure that customers understand fully the implications of having a budget controller installed and these are described in the Pay as you Go and Budget Controller Code of Practice. We will consider each case individually. However, our service is not suitable for persons who are not in a position to get a top up easily, either by visiting a retail outlet or by topping up online. We maintain a register of these customers with special requirements. We will forward information from our Priority and Special service register to the Distribution System Operator (DSO) for inclusion in the industry register. We strive to avoid ever disconnecting any customer in any circumstances. However, the CRU has put additional protections in place to avoid disconnections for these customers who may have special needs. These are detailed in our Code of Practice on Disconnection.
We will continually monitor the suitability of our products for our customers. Firstly, on sign up will assess its suitability for you but throughout your time with Pinergy, we will remind you of your entitlement to register as a vulnerable customer. These reminders will come in the form of inserts in your energy statement or other communications from us and general awareness by Pinergy representatives in their dealings with you.
We will also make arrangements with any such customer to move to a more appropriate means of payment with another supplier by agreement with the customer. In the meantime, we will take whatever steps we can to make sure they are not left without electricity supply (for example, we will encourage them to make sure they maintain a substantial positive balance on their budget controller to cover all eventualities). We will not levy penalty fees on customers where they terminate their contract due to their vulnerability. We will ensure that Vulnerable customers are on the most economic tariff available at time of signup.
We recognise the particular situation of these customers and their need for privacy. We take particular care to comply with the Data Protection Act in relation to information about these customers with special requirements. We only store the minimum information required to allow us to provide satisfactory service to our customers.
SERVICES FOR CUSTOMERS WITH ADDITIONAL COMMUNICATIONS REQUIREMENTS
We provide the following support to customers who need it, whether they are registered vulnerable or not. We can send the following communications and documents in an appropriate format as required:
a. Household Customer Terms & Conditions
b. Customer Charter
c. Customer Codes of Practice
d. Household Tariff Information
e. The energy bill and the energy statement
f. Personalised Household Customer Communications (as approved by the CRU)
g. Outage Notification
h. Any letter to a customer informing them of a change in services or tariff, or intention to modify conditions.
i. Any insert to customers that has been required by the CRU
Written material by email – We can send bills and energy statements in electronic format, by email, to facilitate the use of screen readers.
Redirecting material– We can send any material to a third-party other than the account-holder person if requested to do so.
Customer service by email – We can deal with any query by email rather than by phone if this suits the needs of the customer.
THIRD PARTY REPRESENTATION
We will allow customers to register a representative to deal with matters relating to their electricity supply.
CUSTOMER SITE VISITS (BUDGET CONTROLLER INSTALL/SERVICE/REMOVAL)
We occasionally have cause to visit customers’ homes by appointment in order to install, check or maintain the budget controller. Should the customer have any special requirements regarding the visit, we are more than happy to meet them. This might include knocking louder or for longer than would be usual, waiting longer for the door to be answered than might be usual or making a telephone call to alert the customer that the installer has arrived.
PAY AS YOU GO METERING AND BUDGET CONTROLLERS
Pinergy customers have a budget controller installed in their home in their home and service is only provided on this basis. Customers pay for their electricity, standing and prepayment charges in advance by purchasing vouchers from a local retail outlet or on line. The top-up code on the voucher is keyed into the budget controller by the customer, and the budget controller governs the use of electricity.
The Pinergy-supplied budget controller is in addition to the electricity meter provided by ESB Networks. Although the budget controller is designed to measure electricity usage with very high accuracy, the ESB Networks meter remains the definitive record of the electricity used by the customer.
Customers do not receive a bill; however, customers receive an annual statement, which details the opening and closing reading and the consumption according to the ESB Networks meter, the cost of the electricity services consumed, and the amount that has been paid for through purchasing top-ups.
The budget controller will only be used for the recovery of costs relating to electricity and will not be used to recover costs in relation to other services or products.
In the unlikely event that there is a significant shortfall between the amount paid on the budget controller and the amount of electricity used according to the ESB Networks Meter, the customer may be required to repay the discrepancy to Pinergy. Any apparent discrepancy in relation to the budget controller will be reviewed immediately by Pinergy. Where required, the customer may be asked to provide an actual meter reading. If this does not resolve the discrepancy, we will engage with the customer to discover the root cause of the discrepancy and may seek further readings and a site visit (at our expense) to resolve the issue. When the issue has been resolved, we will issue you with a statement setting out any shortfall or overpayment. We will then deal with that shortfall or overpayment in accordance with the Billing Code of Practice.
We give an explanation of the budget controller and how it operates to the prospective customer. It forms part of our marketing material. We explain that the customer’s existing meter remains in place and will continue to be read as usual.
Prospective and current customers will be directed to the company’s website and customer care telephone number as a source of up-to-date information about tariffs and charges which apply to them.
We will explain that statements will be supplied annually.
We will explain to customers aged 66 and above that CER has put in place a rule that they cannot be disconnected during the winter months, but that if a budget controller is installed, that this rule will not apply and that the electricity may go off if the credit runs out. If the customer still wishes to switch to us and have a budget controller installed, he or she will be asked to confirm in writing that he or she understands this, by signing a special form. We will not accept the customer unless this confirmation in writing has been received.
Upon installation, the electrician will present the customer with a “welcome pack”. This “welcome pack” will include:
- Two top-up cards
- Local top-up locations
- The user manual for the budget controller, including the following information:
- Explanation of friendly credit
- Explanation of emergency credit
- Details of our website
- Our customer care telephone number
If a top-up card is lost, it will be replaced for a €5 charge. This is explained on the card itself.
If the customer moves to a new home, or changes supplier, we will with the cooperation of the customer refund any balance on the budget controller by cheque or credit transfer within 21 days.
If the customer decides to change supplier, we will make arrangements, with the customer’s cooperation, to bypass the budget controller on the changeover day so that it no longer governs the customer’s electricity usage, and to have the budget controller removed at a convenient time.
For help and advice in relation to the use of your meter, please contact us on:
|0818 363 749
|Pinergy Suite 1 Beaver House, Beach Hill Office Campus, Clonskeagh, Dublin 4, D04 Y8X5, Ireland
BEFORE A BUDGET CONTROLLER IS INSTALLED
The property owner and electricity account holder must consent to installation of the budget controller.
Budget controllers are not suitable for every customer. We will verify that this service is suitable for the prospective customer before accepting the customer. For example, we will not accept customers who are reliant on electrically operated medical equipment. Similarly, we will not accept customers who will have difficulties operating the budget controller, for example, a person with serious sight impairment who cannot read the code on a top-up voucher.
Before installation, we will ensure that each customer can easily obtain top ups. Top ups are available on line or via our SmartApp, by telephone using a credit or debit card, or through Payzone which operates a nationwide network of outlets where top ups can be purchased. Where a customer is dependent on Payzone outlets, we will ensure that the customer is within 1.6km of a Payzone outlet. Customers should not purchase credit from unapproved vending facilities.
We operate exclusively on a pay-as-you-go basis. As such we do not use budget controllers to collect outstanding debt that has been built up through non-payment of bills.
Where pass-through charges, such as ESB Networks charges are incurred, these will be recovered from future top-ups, with a maximum of 25 percent of any top-up going toward paying these charges. We will be cognoscente of our customers circumstances and ability to pay.
In the unlikely event that a discrepancy arises between the usage shown on the ESB Networks electricity meter and as a result, it is found that more than €30 of unpaid usage has been incurred, we may permit the customer to repay through future top-ups. A maximum of 25 percent of any top-up will be put towards the outstanding amount.
Where there is an amount being collected through top-ups, we will issue a statement stating the amount consumed, the amounts repaid and the amount remaining outstanding, every three months. You will be informed in writing when this debt is paid. In addition, the amount owed together with amounts paid and the frequency of those payments is displayed on your budget controller and handheld device.
Where the customer vacates or switches supplier, we will supply a final statement within six weeks together with refund of any credit due if applicable by credit transfer or cheque. The customer should submit a final reading in order to close the account. If an actual reading is not available, the account will be closed based on an estimated reading.
If you build up a large balance on your budget controller, you may request a refund of some of your balance. In order to process the refund, you should submit a reading in order that we can issue a statement with your payment. Payments are made by credit transfer or cheque.
DIFFICULTIES ARISING WHERE A BUDGET CONTROLLER HAS BEEN INSTALLED
If a customer is experiencing difficulties using the budget controller, and these cannot be resolved, we will help the customer make alternative arrangements, for example by helping them move to a supplier who can provide a suitable billing and payment arrangement.
The amount paid on the budget controller will normally correspond with the electricity usage incurred on the ESB Networks meter. It is only in exceptional circumstances (fault in the ESB Networks meter, fault in the budget controller or its installation, unauthorized change to the wiring) that any significant discrepancy will arise. Where such a discrepancy arises, it will be followed up on by us. We will inform the customer in writing. We may visit the site. Where appropriate we will contact ESB Networks.
Where a discrepancy arises such that the customer is at a loss, through no fault of the customer, we will compensate the customer by way of credit or by way of cheque, at the customer’s discretion. Where a discrepancy arises to the customer’s advantage, we will recoup the cost of the unpaid usage from the customer. If the discrepancy arises through no fault of the customer, and the accumulated discrepancy is less than €30, we will normally waive the charge, at our discretion.
The meter will cut off if not kept topped up. However, you will be prompted to top up or accept emergency credit when your balance goes below €2. Emergency credit is given when the balance on the budget controller goes to zero. It allows the customer to continue to use the electricity even if they have used their full prepayment. This emergency credit is recouped the next time the customer tops up.
In addition, our smart meter allows you to set automatic top ups when your balance goes low.
We provide €5 emergency credit.
We also provide friendly credit at night, at weekends and on the main public holidays. This means that the electricity will not go off during those times.