Irish pay as you go scheme falters

Designed to reduce heating bills for struggling families, an initiative by the Department of Social Development in Northern Ireland has been shelved following the failure of its pilot scheme, according to an report

Rolled out in February 2012, the scheme – partnered by Kingspan Renewables and Carillion Energy – involved the installation of meters at 17 low income households across three counties in Northern Ireland.

Social development minister, Nelson McCausland, pulled plans to continue the scheme saying: “The results of the pilot were disappointing regarding the proportion of participants benefiting from lower oil costs.

“There are two crucial issues around the cost and delivery of introducing a pay-as-you-go oil system into the department’s mainstream energy efficiency improvement schemes:

(1) Costs associated with production and administration of the pay-as-you-go oil scheme.

(2) And, who will supply the oil to the customer?

Departmental economists have serious concerns about the feasibility of the pay-as-you-go oil scheme from a cost/benefit perspective.

“I have considered all of the information available and concluded that it’s not feasible to introduce the scheme into my department’s energy efficiency improvements’ schemes.”