Laois residents are locked into gas contracts to cook and heat their homes without any protection or way out.
Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley says that there are many housing estates across the country being serviced by bulk gas suppliers such as Calor Gas and Flo Gas where there is limited alternative and no consumer protection given by the Regulator.
“We have had complaints about the supply of bulk gas to certain estates across the country which are not covered under the Energy Regulator’s remit.
"Bulk gas is supplied to estates in Mountrath and Ballybrittas and the residents are locked in to contracts with these suppliers and they don’t have the option of getting an alternative, and perhaps cheaper, gas supply.
He said the issue has been raised this with Minister Naughten and the Commission for Energy Regulation who said they have no powers to intervene.
The Laois TD said these customers are captive and vulnerable to price rises without having the option of shopping around.
"Some householders have had their supplies disconnected and are left without adequate means of heating. All householders should be on an equal footing when it comes to regulatory protection, irrespective of what form their energy comes into their homes. I put down a Dáil Question to Minister Naughten on this but he said that he has no role to play," he said.
The TD believes that the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission should consider this problem as consumers rights are being affected and restricted in these estates on bulk gas supply.