MEP Prendergast requests moratorium on gas cut-offs during freezing cold temperatures

Labour MEP for Munster, Phil Prendergast, today wrote to the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Pat Rabitte to ask him to instruct Bord Gais not to cut off gas supply to homes during these record low temperatures.

Ms. Prendergast’s comments came after the Commissioner for Energy Regulation Dermot Nolan yesterday reported that the number of homes cut off from gas supply had trebled in 2012.

Ms. Prendergast said “The forecast for the next two weeks at least is for bitterly cold temperatures with some reports that it could be the coldest winter on record. I have been contacted by a number of constituents who are struggling to pay their bills and who face being cut off from essential services like gas and electricity.

“Many families will face serious problems finding alternative sources of heating in the short term, which could be dangerous, particularly for elderly people. I am therefore calling on the government to enact a moratorium on gas cut-offs at least until the present bitterly cold weather passes.

“I think people have a basic human right to essentials like food and heating, and nobody should have to go without these goods. I would fear for the safety of families with young children and elderly people if they were cut off and had to live without heating, even in the short term.”

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