Meetings between Minister for the Environment Eamon Ryan and energy companies aiming to find a way to ensure those on pay-as-you-go electricity and gas meters are not disconnected this winter are set to continue tomorrow and into next week.

The minister has asked the energy companies to show further flexibility in order to help households get through this winter.

Speaking on RTÉ's News at One, Mr Ryan said: "The advice is always to engage both with your energy company and the other agencies who are there to help."

It is understood that one of the options under consideration is to increase the emergency credit available to pay-as-you-go customers.

Currently, customers can avail of €20 credit if they run out of money to top up the meter. There have been calls to increase this amount of credit to €100.

Earlier in the Dáil, Sinn Féin demanded that the Government acts on its commitment that people on pay-as-you-go energy meters will not be disconnected this winter.

Pearse Doherty told the Dáil that these vulnerable energy customers must be provided with the same certainty as those on bill pay plans.

There will be a moratorium on disconnections for these customers from December to the end of February, but applying this same guarantee to pay-as-you-go households has been described as more complex.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said today that he agreed with the principle of pay-as-you-go customers not being disconnected this winter, but the Government must find a mechanism to achieve this.

"A lot of help is on the way and the vast majority of people will be able to manage their bills," he said.

Meanwhile, the Minister of State for the Office of Public Works said that certain large-scale consumers will be asked by EirGrid to use their own alternate back-up energy generation at particular peak times this winter.

Patrick O'Donovan told RTÉ's Drivetime during a discussion on potential energy shortages this winter that a combination of industries, including data centres, will be asked to come offline during peak hours if necessary.

"We are not the only country in the European Union that's experiencing severe energy difficulties as a direct result of the war in Ukraine and that is going to continue into the short term," he said.

He added that there are routes available to the country which must be explored, including being able to import natural gas into the country from alternative sources.