Electric Ireland will not disconnect street lighting in two housing estates in Co Clare despite threats to do so from this evening.
Clare County Council has confirmed that the power company has advised them that the disconnections have been postponed until further notice.
The three estates, at Powerscourt, Tulla; Woodview Park, Ennistymon and Gort na hAbhanna in Ennis, were expected to be plunged into darkness from this evening (Monday) when their street lighting was due to be cut off.
A spokesman for Electric Ireland had said: “The electricity supply for these estates was registered for disconnection due to on-going non-payment of amounts owing on the accounts.”
“In each case we require that either Clare County Council or the residents register with Electric Ireland to take over responsibility for future electricity bills to ensure continued supply to the estate,” the company said.
Residents at Gort na hAbhanna, Ennis have already told the company that they will pay the bills for public lighting in their area.
People living in the other two developments have now been told their power won’t be cut off today (Monday).
Last Wednesday, a day after news of the proposed disconnections appeared in the media, Clare County Council was contacted by Electric Ireland.
A spokesman for the local authority has confirmed: “The Council has been formally advised by Electric Ireland that any further disconnections have been postponed until further notice. This is what the Council was seeking, to allow space to secure solutions so that continuity of public lighting on the developments affected could be secured.”
“We will continue to work with all parties towards ensuring that public lighting is not affected on the interests of residents on these estates,” the spokesman added.
Last year the council was told by Electric Ireland that the public lighting on developments not taken in charge by the authority was likely to be disconnected due to non payment of bills by the developers of those estates.
Electric Ireland initially advised the authority of 77 accounts that faced disconnection and since a meeting between the parties, Clare County Council “has achieved a satisfactory resolution on 24 of the original 77 accounts.”
The company has now said: “Negotiations are still ongoing with the County Council, therefore disconnection has been postponed indefinitely while these negotiations continue.”
The Council had said that the three estates, due to be disconnected this evening, were of particular concern as the bonds in place are IBRC bonds
“The Council has already been advised that these bonds rank as unsecured creditors as part of the special liquidation of IBRC. We have made a formal claim to the special liquidators on all bonds held by Clare County Council,” the authority said.
Electric Ireland has also said: “The average charge, per two monthly billing period, would be €150-€200, but this is very much dependent on the size of the estate and the number of public lights.”