Know Your Rights : The Energy Engage Code

June 2014


What is the ‘Energy Engage’ Code?

The ‘Energy Engage Code’ is a new code of practice which aims to protect energy customers who are in financial difficulty, particularly those in arrears on their bills. It applies to five energy suppliers with effect from 1 June 2014 – these are Bord Gáis Energy, Electric Ireland, Energia, Flogas Natural Gas and SSE Airtricity.
Under the Energy Engage Code, suppliers guarantee that no customer engaging with them will be cut off. The energy suppliers will seek to identify vulnerable customers at an earlier stage. They commit to treating each customer individually and offering realistic and achievable payment plans to customers in difficulty. The Energy Engage Code will be independently audited to ensure that the participating energy suppliers are complying with it.
In addition to the new code of practice, all energy suppliers must comply with certain mandatory consumer protection standards that are set out by the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER).

All suppliers are obliged to establish a register of vulnerable customers and to keep it updated. Customers listed on this register cannot be disconnected during the months November to March. A customer in arrears must be offered a payment arrangement, which can include the installation of a Pay As You Go meter, while avoiding a situation where the debt becomes worse.

“At risk” customers must be referred to MABS, The St Vincent de Paul Society or a representative of the Department of Social Protection (formerly called the Community Welfare Officer). A supplier can consider applying for a disconnection only if these measures fail, and only after at least four separate attempts to contact the customer have been made.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.

Know Your Rights has been compiled by Dungloe Citizens Information Service which provides a free and confidential service to the public.
Tel: 0761075431 Address: Dungloe Public Services Centre
Information is also available online at citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, 0761 07 4000.