If you're cut off, you're cut off from all providers. A €500 bill is likely due to incorrect estimates and will have to be paid before you can move.
Apparently they do not check the meters, ESB does. And reading between the lines, when it suits them. In the mean time Airticity’s billing system keeps running every two months. When ESB do get around to it, they just add the new amount and never let the customer know. I have no problem paying for what I owe but I will not allow them take whatever figure they guess out of my bank account.
They are fast developing a terrible reputation for customer service. 5-6 days to answer an email and as I said; an unwillingness to put anything in writing. I also know a number of people who have moved back to ESB because despite the claims, they were more expensive.
ESB Networks check the meters, generally every 6 months. Its up to the operator to make the estimates I think
ESB Networks != ESB Electric Ireland any more, very much split.
Electric Ireland are actually the cheapest in some circumstances. Airtricity are NOT cheap and never were; and their sales tactics of trying to convince you its "green energy" is bollix also.