Social media and advertising company Meta has begun to pay back an underpaid electricity bill for electricity used at its Clonee data center in Ireland.

The company contacted state-owned electricity grid authority EirGrid after only seven percent of the data center's energy use was recorded over an 18-month period.

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– Facebook

Grid operator ESB Networks installed two new substations at the data center but failed to set them up properly for billing.

"Registration of the additional metering is a manual process that relies on data being communicated from on-site personnel to Profile Data Services (PDS)," a preliminary report stated.

"In this instance, an error was made and communication to PDS did not take place which meant that these new transformers were energized without the meters being registered and hence relevant consumption data from these meters was not issued to the supplier."

The data center consumes as much power as 150,000 average homes.

ESB Networks said that its investigation does not point to the issue being widespread.

Last year, EirGrid called a halt to plans for up to 30 potential data centers due to issues meeting the electricity demands of the growing sector.