The Taoiseach said he is “very concerned” that over 150,000 customers are in arrears on gas bills.
Almost a quarter of gas customers are in arrears in paying their bills this year, according to the latest figures from energy watchdog the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (CRU).
The CRU will tell the Oireachtas Environment Committee 160,399 customers were in arrears up to March 31st, an increase of 20,600 compared to the end of last year.
Energy prices and wholesale gas prices rose last year following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he is “very concerned” by these figures.
“The figures for electricity bills are a lot lower, I think it’s around 10%,” he said. “That may be linked in part to the fact that the credits were taken off your electricity bill rather than your gas bill, for good reason.”
“Everyone has an electric bill; most don’t have a gas bill.”
The Government previously introduced a €600 credit on electricity bills in Budget 2023, given out in three installments.
The Government has also indicated that they may introduce a fourth €200 credit on electricity billsnext winter to support domestic customers in the cost-of-living crisis.
The Taoiseach said the Government expects to see gas and electricity prices go down later this year.
“Certainly, we are calling on the companies to do that.”
Electric Ireland also introduced a €50 credits on bills to domestic households in December.