Frequently Asked Questions

/Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions2020-01-19T17:27:07+00:00
I want to buy my electricity from Community Power, Can I Switch?2019-12-06T12:49:57+00:00

You sure can! Whether you are a household, community, business, public or private building user, if you currently buy electricity anywhere on the island of Ireland, you can switch and buy your electricity from Community Power.

You can switch in 3 simple steps. Click here to get started.

How to Read your Meter?2020-02-20T10:01:46+00:00

There are three main types of electricity meters in use as per the ESB Networks –

  • Mechanical revolving disc meters
  • Electronic meters
  • Pay as You Go meters

What type of meter do I have?

To identify the type of meter you have, look at the descriptions below. To find out how to read your meter, ​select the relevant option.

Mechanical Meter

This meter is the most common type of meter in domestic dwellings. It has a revolving disc and one row of numbers. There are two different types – 24 Hr Revolving Disc Meter and Time of Day Meter.

Business customers may have a Wattless Meter installed. The Wattless meter is distinguished from Standard Meters or Day & Night Meters by the letters kVArh located near its register and is read in the same way.

24 Hour Meter or Day and Night Meter

Electronic Meter

For most commercial and some industrial premises, Non Quarter Hourly (NQH) metering is used. Many of these meters have electronic registers with one electronic meter display capable of scrolling through multiple register readings. Larger customers may also have additional current transformers. Electronic meters are also installed in some domestic premises.

Domestic or Business 

Pay As You Go Meter

Your electricity supplier may arrange for a Pay as You Go meter to be installed at your premises. Each Pay as You Go meter has two elements, a customer keypad and an ESB Networks main meter.

It is important to note that even if you have a Pay as You Go meter, a meter reader will still call to read the main meter.

Watch our Video  More Information

Safety Tip

Please be careful when reading your meter, especially if it is up high or in an inaccessible place.

What is a Smart meter and can I get one?2020-03-19T16:43:15+00:00

A Smart Meter will enable the move to a low-carbon electricity network, the development of smart grids and support the electrification of heat and transport, local renewable generation and micro generation. ‘It will also eliminate the need for estimated bills. The ESB Networks with the roll-out of the National Smart Metering Programme (NSMP) involves replacing all existing electricity meters with Smart Enabled Meters.   The roll out programme will be delivered in a phased approach, commencing with an initial delivery of 250,000 meters in 2019 – 2020 (they will begin in Cork, Laois and Kildare) and approximately 500,000 meters in each of the 4 subsequent years.

Ireland’s smart meter upgrade programme will ensure that customers and businesses are provided with the next generation of electricity meters that are being rolled out across Europe and internationally. This new technology will replace older meters and will make available new products and services bringing benefits to Irish consumers, the environment and the economy. Smart meters will make the supplier switching process easier and empower consumers to make a more informed choice for their energy needs. Smart metering will also enable the development of the smart grid and facilitate more flexible, reliable and better network planning. Smart meters in Ireland are not currently enabled to record microgeneration export, and you cannot request a smart meter for your property.

You can read more about the smart meter roll out here. 

 

The Household Benefits Package – Switching To Community Power2020-01-30T14:53:38+00:00

This package of allowances is in regards to the costs of running your household. The package is available to everyone aged over 70 and to people under age 70 in certain circumstances.

If you change your electricity supplier, it is your responsibility to notify the Department of this change. You must provide proof of your new energy provider (utility bill in your name) from the change date.

If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) .

What is EAB?2020-01-19T17:28:39+00:00

EAB means the Estimated Annual Bill. It is a way for customers to be able to compare and contrast tariffs between electricity suppliers.  It is designed based on the CRU’s (Customer Regulatory Organisation of Ireland) typical annual consumption figures for electricity. This is 4,200 kWh of electricity per annum. This is used as a guideline for the customer.

(Unit Rate x CRU typical annual electricity consumption value) + (Standing Charge + Service Charge + PSO) X 365 days

* The calculations above are based on CRU approved annual consumption figures (4200 kWh’s p.a.). These figures may not reflect your actual consumption

* The prices outlined in the calculations are inclusive of VAT

* For the purposes of calculating Day/Night values we have used the assumption of (Day -50% usage) and (Night -50% usage)

What is MPRN?2020-01-19T17:26:11+00:00

The MPRN is an 11 digit number which can be found at the top of an electricity bill or can be gotten by a landlord or by phoning the ESBN. It is a unique number that is specific to a property. This number is required for any general enquiry and also if your are switching suppliers.

I want to sell my renewable electricity to Community Power, Can I?2020-03-19T12:31:19+00:00

Yes.  If you are a local energy company, energy co-operative, community organisation, or citizen generating renewable electricity you can sell it to Community Power.  We do this by entering into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with small to medium sized generators. Community Power is one of a small number of licenced suppliers who can provide a PPA to generators of electricity.

If you have a renewable generator, approximately  50 Kw or greater and you would like to sell your power to Community Power, we can offer a fair Power Purchase Agreement. Or if you or your organisation is exploring ‘on site’ renewable generation, and have a requirement for a licenced supply company, we can help.

If you are a household or small building with microgeneration we can buy your excess power, if you have an export meter from ESB Networks installed. Export meters cost approximately €340 – €640, and for microgenerators the time to pay back this initial investment could be 2-3 years.  The Irish government does not currently support the sale of power generated from microgeneration and there is no framework in place to support microgeneration.

This is recognised by Government and there are plans to change it.  Specifically Action 30 of the Climate Action Plan seeks to support microgenerators.  It includes the establishment of a working group in Q3 2019, sets out the steps necessary and timelines for the delivery of an enabling framework for micro generation. The Plan provides that a support payment for excess electricity generated on site and exported to the grid will be available to all micro-generators by 2021 whilst ensuring principles of equity, self-consumption and energy efficiency first are incorporated’ which was mentioned by the Government department of Environment. Read more .

What is microgeneration?2020-03-19T16:34:31+00:00

Micro generation describes the production of electricity using small renewable generators. It is typically associated with installations in domestic or small business properties, like rooftop solar panels or small hydro or wind turbines. Micro generators produce less than 5.75 kW (single phase connection to the house) or 11 kW (3 phase connection to the house) of electrical power.

Micro generators can ‘spill’ power onto the grid, at times when power is being produced but not all of the power is being used on site.  For example solar pv panels on a school over a sunny weekend or holiday period.  In order to measure the amount of ‘spill’ from a micro generator, an export meter must be installed by ESB Networks.  Export meters can be purchased at a cost of €340 – €640 from ESB Networks at this linkDepending on how much power is exported the payback time to cover the cost of a meter could be a number of years.  There is currently no support for the sale of microgeneration in Ireland.

There is a recognition that a framework to enable and support microgeneraiton should be introduced in Ireland in line with the EU Clean Energy Package, which establishes new rights for community and citizen owned renewbale energy. The Irish Climate Action Plan promises support for microgeneration. Action 30 includes for the establishment of a working group in Q3 2019, and sets out the steps necessary and timelines for the delivery of an enabling framework for micro generation. The Plan provides that a support payment for excess electricity generated on site and exported to the grid will be available to all micro-generators by 2021 whilst ensuring principles of equity, self-consumption and energy efficiency first are incorporated’ which was mentioned by the Government department of Environment. Read more 

What is a community based virtual power plant?2019-09-25T20:36:35+00:00

A virtual power plant is a network of generators of electricity that join together to operate like a single power plant.   The community-based version offers a community the opportunity to provide its energy needs with small-scale, distributed low-carbon technologies with participation from individual consumers, local energy co-operatives or companies, or SMEs.

There are no new wires, or cables required, communities and citizens can generate renewable power, the virtual power plant aggregates the power, and then distributes it back to its customers.

I want to own/my community wants to own a renewable energy development/part of a renewable energy development, Can I/we do that in Ireland?2020-03-19T12:47:04+00:00

Almost!  We have been preparing to develop three solar farms in Galway, Mayo and Tipperary.  Ownership of these solar farms will be open to the communities and citizens of Ireland, with priority to those living nearby, to allow all to share in the returns and benefits of renewable energy.  Each solar farm will be developed as individual legal entities, and all will be built on co-operative principles based on voluntary and open participation, will be autonomous and will be effectively controlled by shareholders or members that are located nearby.

We are planning to take part in the first auction of the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) which is due to be held in July 2020.  This scheme will provide support for the sale of solar electricity to the Irish market for the first time.

We are looking for communities and people who share in our vision of community and citizen owned renewable energy in Ireland, and want to own a share in a solar farm in Ireland.

You can pre-register your interest here now. 

What else can I do?2019-12-06T12:58:45+00:00

If you like what we’re doing, and want to be more involved, you can take our survey.

We want to find out how much people know, or care about, where their power comes from.

Take the survey now, it will only take 2 mins.

What is DUoS?2020-01-19T17:28:53+00:00

DUoS stands for Distribution Use of System. A DUoS charge is a fee that ESB Networks charges Community Power for use of the Electricity Distribution System. Community Power will pass this on to you in your Electricity Bill.

The amount of DUoS that ESB Networks charges Community Power for each customer depends on which DUoS Group a customer is classified as, which can be based on several factors including the voltage a premises is connected at, the type of meter installed, or if electricity is exported.

DUoS Group Name Description

DG1 Urban Domestic Customers

DG2 Rural Domestic Customers

DG3 Unmetered Public Lighting

DG4 Other Unmetered Connections

DG5 Low Voltage Non-Domestic Non-MD Customers

DG5A Low Voltage Non-Domestic Non-MD Autoproducers (Exporters)

DG5B Low Voltage Non-Domestic Non-MD Autoproducers (Importers)

DG6 Low Voltage Non-Domestic MD Customers

DG6A Low Voltage Non-Domestic MD Autoproducers (Exporters)

DG6B Low Voltage Non-Domestic MD Autoproducers (Importers).

Who are the CRU?2019-10-02T21:09:24+00:00

The CRU has a statutory responsibility to protection energy consumers. One way the CRU discharges this responsibility is through the Electricity and Gas Suppliers’ Handbook. The Handbook acts as the ‘rulebook’ for suppliers with regard to all interactions with energy customers. The Handbook is a mix of principles and rules which all suppliers must adhere to.

The Handbook is split into a number of codes of practice for issues such as billing, disconnections, complaint handling, vulnerable customers, etc. The Handbook also contains a number of codes for non-household customers which suppliers must also comply with providing protections for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs).

The CRU manages the Handbook and conducts reviews to take account of developments in the energy market. The most recent review of the Handbook was conducted in 2016/17 and was subject to a number of rounds of public consultation and engagement with industry and consumer interest groups.