Thursday, 12 May 2022
Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment
172. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the current position in regard to the payment of Government subsidy towards ESB bills throughout the country; when all payments are likely to be concluded including to those on pay-as-you-go arrangements; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24084/22]
173. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the current position in regard to the payment of a Government subsidy towards ESB bills to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24085/22]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 172 and 173 together.
The Electricity Costs (Domestic Electricity Accounts) Emergency Measures Act 2022 established 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. The credit of €176.22 (excluding VAT) is being applied to all domestic electricity accounts from April and includes prepay, or pay as you go, meters.
The scheme is operated by the Distribution System Operator (ESB Networks) and electricity suppliers with oversight by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities.
This Scheme is in addition to the Government’s ongoing measures to address energy poverty and the protection of vulnerable customers, and is in addition to the measures introduced in the Budget and those set out in the recently published National Energy Security Framework.
This is an exceptional measure which uses the single eligibility criterion of a Meter Point Registration Number, to ensure payments to each domestic electricity account as early as possible in 2022, without any additional means testing. As such, it is being applied automatically to all domestic electricity accounts which were held with suppliers on 29 March.
Suppliers are required to maintain records of any accounts they have been unable to credit, and to return these unallocated credits to ESB Networks by 15 July 2022.
The Deputy may also wish to note that updates on the electricity credit, including frequently asked questions, are available on gov.ie at: www.gov.ie/en/publication/4ae14-electricity-costs-emergency-benefit-scheme/