Government Electricity Costs Emergency Benefit Scheme FAQs
The Electricity Costs Emergency Benefit Scheme II was announced in Budget 2023. Domestic electricity customers will get €600 credit to help reduce electricity bills.
How do I sign up?
There is no need to sign up, the scheme will be automatic and apply to all domestic electricity accounts.
Customers do not need to contact their suppliers. For credit pay (billpay) customers, the credit will be applied automatically to your account and will appear on your bill. For Prepay customers, suppliers will send a direct notification (either a letter or an email) to explain how you can redeem the credit.
Why did I not receive the credit?
The credit is applied to your bill as €183.49 with a VAT rate of 9%. This equates to a benefit of €200 after VAT.
(Credit applied before VAT, as it should appear on bills, equates to €200 after VAT)
Example of credit being added to a bill
|Bill Before Credit||Bill After Credit||Difference|
|Standing Charge € 28.00||Standing Charge € 28.00|
|PSO €13||PSO €13|
|Usage €200||Usage €200|
|Government Electricity Credit -€ 183.49|
|Total €241.00||Total €57.51|
|VAT @ 9% €21.69||VAT @ 9% € 5.17|
|Total Billable Amount €262.69||Total Billable Amount €62.69||€200 benefit|
Who is eligible?
The scheme will apply to all domestic electricity accounts which are registered with an electricity supplier in the Republic of Ireland. This means that all registered customers with a classification of DG1 (urban domestic customers) or DG2 (rural domestic customers) on 27 October 2022 for the first payment period, 20 December 2022 for the second payment period and 27 February 2023 for the third payment period, will be eligible.
 DG1 and DG2 accounts
In order to qualify for the credit you must have an electricity meter which has a ESB Networks Meter Point Reference Number (MPRN).
I have a prepay meter, will I still receive the credit?
Yes. The scheme will apply to all domestic electricity accounts, including pay as you go customers.
Prepay customers will be notified by their supplier via a letter or email to explain how they can redeem their credits.
In order to qualify for the credit, you must have an electricity meter which has a ESB Networks Meter Point Reference Number (MPRN). If your property/rental property does not have a ESB Networks MPRN your supplier will not receive this credit on your behalf.
I have a prepay meter and did not receive the credit.
If your prepay meter has an ESB Networks Meter Point Reference Number you should have received a notification from your supplier explaining how you can access your credit. If you did not receive this notification please contact your supplier to request it.
If your prepay meter does not have an ESB Networks Meter Point Reference Number it does not meet the eligibility criteria of the scheme. The CRU advise you to contact your landlord or supplier regarding this.
When will I receive the payment?
Electricity suppliers will credit customer accounts between 1 November 2022 – 31 December 2022 for the first payment, between 1 January 2023 – 28 February 2023 for the second payment period and between 1 March 2023 – 30 April 2023 for the third payment.
However, the credit may not appear on a customers’ bill during these payment periods, this will depend on individual customer billing cycles.
How will the credit be applied to my account?
The credit will be automatically applied to your account, either as a credit on your bill or as a top-up on your prepay meter. Should your first billable amount after the credit is applied to your account be lower than the value of the credit, the credit will remain on your account and pass onto your following bill(s).
My electricity bill is included in my rent, will I still get the credit?
For operational reasons the scheme can only credit the domestic electricity account holder.
The Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications advise as follows:
The Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications is working with the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, and the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) to publicise and increase awareness of the Electricity Costs Emergency Benefit Scheme to ensure those in rented accommodation who hold the electricity account receive benefit from the payments. In the event that a dispute should arise, there are existing dispute resolution mechanisms provided by the RTB to landlords and tenants. The RTB encourages parties to engage with its mediation service where agreements are reached in over 70% of cases.
Will people with multiple residences, for example holiday homes, be eligible
The scheme will apply to every domestic electricity account holder. This means that holiday homes with a domestic electricity account in Ireland will be included in the scheme.
The scheme uses the above single eligibility criteria, enabling payments to reach customers accounts as early as possible.
Is the scheme means tested?
No. It is not means tested, as the application of such criteria would override the automatic nature of the current scheme, be cumbersome for customers by requiring formal application and significantly delay the automatic crediting of customer accounts.
Can the credit be used to re-connect electricity supply?
Yes. The credit can be used towards the fee to re-connect a domestic electricity supply user (DG1 or DG2).
Can the credit be used to pay off debt?
Yes. The credit can be used to pay off debt that a domestic customer has on their electricity account
Can the credit be used to pay off my gas debt?
No. The credit cannot be used towards gas debt. The scheme has been designed as a payment to be made in the form of a credit to each domestic electricity account holder in Ireland. The scheme uses this single eligibility criteria to enable payments to be made to benefit the broadest range of households (many households do not have a gas connection) from relief on their energy bills.
My account is currently paid up to date or in credit – how can I access the government credit?
Should your first billable amount after the credit is applied to your account, be lower than the value of the credit, the credit will remain on your account and pass onto your following bill(s).
What if I switch electricity supplier, will I still get the credit?
Yes. For the purposes of the first payment period, if you switch electricity supplier between 27 October 2022 and 31 December 2022, it is the supplier you were with on 27 October 2022 that will be responsible for providing you with the credit. For the purposes of the second payment period, if you switch between 20 December 2022 and 27 February 2023, it is the supplier you were with on 20 December 2022 that will be responsible for providing you with the credit. For the purposes of the third payment period if you switch between 27 February and 30 June, it is the supplier you were with on the 27 February that will be responsible for providing you with the credit. A supplier may apply the credit to your closing bill if applicable or credit you back via the means by which you pay your bills.
If there is a change in account holder (i.e. if I move out), will I still get the credit?
It is the account holder registered to the supplier on the 27 October 2022 for the purposes of the first payment period, 20 December 2022 for the purposes of the second payment period and 27 February 2023 for the third payment period who is eligible to receive the credit(s).
I have a prepay meter, how will I know when I have received the credit?
Prepay customers will be notified by their supplier via an email/text message/message on top-up note to inform them that the credit has been applied to their account. Depending on your prepay meter type, your prepay vend requirements to redeem your credits may vary. Your supplier will contact you with specific instructions in this regard on how to redeem your credits.
If I switch supplier, will I receive the credit twice?
It is the electricity supplier that you are registered with on 27 October 2022 for the purposes of the first payment period, 20 December for the purposes of the second payment period and 27 February 2023 for the purposes of the third payment period, that will be responsible for providing you with the credit(s). Customers will not be credited twice in each of the respective payment periods.
Who should I contact if I don’t receive the credit?
Suppliers will place further information on their websites with the exact dates the credit will show on their customers Electricity Bills. The date you receive your credit will depend on the date that your supplier normally sends you your bill. If you haven’t received your credit by 31 January 2023 for the purposes of the first payment period, 31 March 2023 for the purposes of the second payment period and 31 May for the third payment period, you should contact your electricity supplier in the first instance. You can find the contact details for your electricity supplier on your most recent bill or statement.