The Consumer Council has a responsibility to represent energy consumers in Northern Ireland.
We do this by working with the energy companies, the Utility Regulator and our social partners, and by lobbying government to ensure that consumers are placed at centre of all decision making. We also investigate consumers’ complaints about electricity, natural gas, coal and Northern Ireland Oil Federation suppliers.
There are many challenges facing the energy industry including: tackling fuel poverty; delivering effective competition; developing renewable energy and energy efficiency measures; and deciding on Northern Ireland's energy future. We will continue to listen to consumers and represent their interests during all of these debates.
Customer Care Registers
All electricity and gas suppliers in Northern Ireland must keep a Customer Care Register with the details and special needs of customers who are of pensionable age, disabled (by virtue of being blind, partially sighted, deaf or hearing impaired) or chronically sick. Supplies can provide free assistance and services to customers who register their details with them. These services include bills in different formats such as large print or Braille and password schemes to help identify representatives from a service provider. We have compiled a list of the services offered by the different companies below and a link with the contact details for all utility companies.
Critical Care Registers
Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) and NI Water operate a Critical Care Register where they keep details of consumers who rely on electrical equipment or on a water supply for their day to day care. In the case of electricity customers this includes medical equipment such as oxygen concentrators, patient vital signs monitoring systems and home dialysis. With NI Water their critical care register is for consumer with serious medical conditions.
Adding your details to this register will allow NI Water and NIE to prioritise your contact details if your supply goes off.
In the event of an interruption that is scheduled by NIE, they will contact you at least three days beforehand and inform you of the expected duration of the interruption and in the event of a power cut or loss of supply you kept updated. In the event of an un-planned power cut your call will be given priority. NIE will then contact you regularly during the power cut with up-to-date information.
NI Water will also arrange an alternative water supply in the event of a prolonged loss of service and give all customers 48 hours notice in the event of water services being off for longer than 4 hours.