Written answers

Wednesday, 21 September 2022

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Cost of Living Issues

Photo of Matt ShanahanMatt Shanahan (Waterford, Independent)
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80. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason that a person cannot use their electricity allowance on their gas bill where it is a small amount against a significant gas bill; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46180/22]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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The Household Benefits package comprises of the electricity or gas allowance, and the free television licence. The package is generally available to people living in the State aged 66 years or over who are in receipt of a social welfare type payment or who satisfy a means test. The package is also available to some people under the age of 66, who are in receipt of certain social welfare payments. Only one Household Benefits package is payable per household and it is paid on a monthly basis.

The option exists for a recipient of an electricity allowance [as part of their household benefits package] to opt instead for a natural gas allowance. Some gas energy providers can apply the allowance as a credit directly to the customer's utility account. If the customer's energy provider cannot apply the allowance as a credit to their utility account, the customer can opt to have the allowance paid as a cash payment, directly to their nominated post office or financial institution account.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

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