Every household in Ireland is set to benefit from a €200 reduction on their electricity bill in the coming weeks.
The government today revealed new details of the scheme after President Michael D Higgins officially signed the legislation needed for the payment to be made.
The single payment was accepted by the government to cope with soaring energy prices. Initially planned at €100, it was doubled to €200 due to the increase in the cost of living.
About 2.25 million account holders will benefit from this program, with the money owed being automatically deducted from invoices.
The government has confirmed that the credit line of €176.22 (excl. VAT) will start appearing on invoices from April and will continue for the next month or so.
The credit will be applied automatically. Households do not need to apply for it. They do not need to contact their electricity supplier.
Who is eligible
Anyone with a household electricity account can get paid, including à la carte customers. The scheme will not be means-tested.
How to register
You won’t have to do anything. Households do not need to request payment and account holders will see the money automatically taken from their bill.
When will the payment be made
The government has confirmed that the €200 reduction will appear on bills from next month (April) and will continue for the next month or so, depending on the billing cycle of the household and the electricity supplier.
A line of credit will appear on invoices in the amount of €176.22 with the identifier “Government Electricity Credit” or an abbreviated version of it.
How much money will I receive
€200 excluding VAT is €176.22, the amount consumers will see as a line of credit on their bills.
Each holder of a domestic electricity account will benefit from the amount including VAT which is €200.
Does it apply to tenants?
If your landlord pays your electric bill, it will be up to them whether or not to pass on some of the money.
The Régie des hirings à usage d’habitation will be responsible for dealing with disputes from tenants who do not see the savings returned to them.
In new guidance for tenants, the government said: ‘The credit is designed to provide all household electricity account holders with a contribution towards their electricity bills. In some cases, tenants of rental accommodation pay their electricity to their landlord (and do not have a household electricity account in their name). In these circumstances, landlords are expected to pass the credit on to their tenants.
“The Department for Environment, Climate and Communications has partnered with the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) to ensure this is widely communicated across the rental sector, to landlords and tenants alike. Those who ultimately use and pay for electricity (whether in their electricity bills or included in their rent payments) should be the beneficiaries of the program.
“In the event of a dispute, tenants and landlords are encouraged to try to resolve the issue together first, keeping the lines of communication open. In the event that the dispute cannot be resolved between the parties, the matter may be referred to RTB’s free mediation service, where an independent mediator helps both parties find a mutually beneficial solution.
“Alternatively, the parties may seek arbitration with the RTB, where an independent arbitrator renders a finding based on the evidence related to the case.”
Does it apply to Pay As You Go customers
Yes. All household electricity account holders will see the savings applied to them.
For those with struggling prepaid meters, the government said: ‘The €200 electricity credit will be applied over three separate recharges or sales, for customers using struggling prepaid meters.
“These meters have a credit limit of €300, and government credit could put the meter above that limit.
“As a solution, the credit will be broken down into three smaller credits of €90, €90 and €20, which can be redeemed within days – by the customer making a €10 payment on their electricity bill. Customers will be advised to pay only €10 each time to receive their credit note, and to allow a day between each payment. »
Are people with multiple homes eligible
Yes. The scheme applies to each household electricity account holder, so anyone with multiple electricity accounts will receive payment for each home.
What is the latest government statement
Speaking on Sunday, Environment Minister Eamon Ryan said: “The Government is fully aware of recent increases in the cost of living and the impact of rising inflation on the whole of ‘economy.
“Rising energy costs have played a significant role in this, due to rising energy costs internationally and, more recently, due to the crisis in Ukraine.
“As part of the government’s package of measures to combat the rising cost of living, we have recently increased the electricity credit for all households to a value of €200. This will be put in place soon. In addition, my officials and I will continue our efforts to ensure that we, and the relevant agencies under my responsibility, explore all avenues to identify and assist those most in need.
“Internationally, natural gas prices have been on an upward curve since the second half of 2020. This has directly impacted retail electricity prices, as the wholesale electricity price is highly correlated at the price of gas. In the long term, the way to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels is to expand our own local supply of renewable energy and invest in the energy efficiency of our homes. We are striving to have up to 80% of our electricity from renewables by 2030 and we now have supports for homeowners, farms and small businesses to generate their own electricity and sell any excess to the network.
“This, in addition to immediate short-term action, is what we need to do – to protect Irish households from high energy costs over the next few years.”
Where can I get more information
Keep an eye on your provider’s website, where more information will be posted. The Ministry of the Environment will also publish updates.
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