Tuesday, 15 February 2022
Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment
234. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the arrangements that have been made to ensure that persons who are in own-door direct provision will get the €100 plus VAT reduction on their electricity bills as passed by Dáil Éireann recently; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8443/22]
The Electricity Costs (Domestic Electricity Accounts) Emergency Measures Bill 2022 will establish a scheme for the making in 2022, of a once-off Electricity Costs Emergency Benefit Payment to each domestic electricity account, having regard to the exceptional rise in energy prices. This scheme is in addition to the Government’s long-standing measures to address energy poverty and the protection of vulnerable customers, the measures introduced in the Budget and those announced on 10 February.
The scheme will be operated by the Distribution System Operator (ESB Networks), and electricity suppliers. Based on the number of domestic electricity accounts, ESBN will make payments to the individual energy suppliers who will then make the payments to each domestic electricity account.
The scheme will apply to all domestic accounts and will include pre-pay customers. It will use the single eligibility criterion of a meter point registration number, to ensure payments to each domestic electricity account as early as possible in 2022. The Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (CRU) will be charged with oversight of the scheme.
The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth has advised that International Protection applicants who reside in any International Protection Accommodation Services (IPAS) centres, including in own door accommodation, are not required to pay for their utilities, such as electricity or heating. Therefore, as this credit payment is for domestic electricity accounts, these applicants in own door accommodation will not receive payment under the scheme.
The Deputy may also wish to note that regular information updates, including frequently asked questions, are being made available on gov.ie at: www.gov.ie/en/publication/4ae14-electricity-costs-emergency-benefit-scheme/.