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Full-time residents of multi-occupancy units and mobile homes must be guaranteed access to energy rebate– O’Dowd

23rd February 2022 - Fergus O'Dowd TD

Questions remain regarding how residents of multi-occupancy units and full-time residents in mobile homes will access the upcoming €200 upcoming electricity rebate, a Fine Gael TD has said.

Deputy Fergus O’Dowd recently raised the need for clarity regarding the terms of the scheme with the Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan, by way of a Parliamentary Question and also contacted the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) and the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (CRU).

Deputy O’Dowd said, “There are a significant number of people living in mobile home parks on a permanent basis, as well as in multi-occupancy units, who are not account holders and instead pay their energy bills directly to landlords and mobile home park operators through private metered arrangements.

“Minister Ryan’s response to my Parliamentary Question raised more questions than it answered. In it, he stated that operated meters are not installed by ESBN and are not regulated by the CRU, thereby not guaranteeing access to the rebate for residents who pay via such meters.

“A process must be put in place to allow these residents to apply for the rebate, and ensure they receive it in full. Minister Ryan stated this will be a private matter between residents and operators. This is completely unacceptable and will no doubt leave thousands of vulnerable households unable to access this much needed rebate.

“Minister Ryan said that his Department is working closely with the RTB on a public information scheme to ensure impacted tenants are aware of the rebate. However, the RTB have thus far been unable to provide me with any details of such scheme.

“This is a problem which will impact some of the most vulnerable householders, people who are in most urgent need of the €200 energy relief. We need to ensure the safeguards and proper procedures are in place so that these people feel the full benefit of the rebate.

“I’ve raised my concerns directly with both the RTB and the CRU and will be pressing Minister Ryan to address the issue urgently,” concluded Deputy O’Dowd.

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