Solidarity-People Before Profit has called on the Government to extend the moratorium on disconnections for electricity and gas customers through the winter to pay-as-you-go customers.

Mick Barry said that roughly 10% of energy users or about 200,000 homes are on pay-as-you-go contracts.

Speaking during Leaders' Questions in the Dáil, he said that for low-income households the proportion is probably "much higher".

Mr Barry warned that those customers now "face the prospect of disconnection" which he said is "a scandal".

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said that while "we may see electricity prices falling or at least stabilising", he warned that "gas bills could be particularly high over the next couple of months".

"Gas bills in particular" will "present a difficulty over the next few months", he said.

He acknowledged that Mr Barry had made "a fair point" and undertook to examine it along with Minister for Environment Eamon Ryan and Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys.

They will try to find "a mechanism to help those particular hardship cases" where the other Government supports are not enough and "to protect pay-as-you-go customers".

Mr Varadkar said that "ideally" the moratorium should apply to everyone.

However he said that given the nature of how that system operates, it is "difficult to know how you would apply that in the case of pay-as-you-go customers".