The Free Electricity Allowance is a €35 supplement paid by the Department of Social Protection to assist certain individuals with their electricity bill payments. All over 70s and individuals under 70 who meet certain criteria are eligible to receive the monthly fee, which is part of the Households Benefits Package.
Am I eligible for the free electricity allowance?
Firstly, you must be living in Ireland and be the only person in your household who is receiving the allowance. You must also be living alone or only living with people who meet a certain set of criteria, known as ‘excepted people’. We’ll explain what ‘excepted people’ are shortly.
If you tick these boxes, you might be entitled to the Allowance. But you still have to meet some more criteria.
If you are under 66 and are on Disability Allowance or are getting an Invalidity or Blind pension, you can get the €35 allowance.
Individuals between 66 and 70 who are getting a State, widow’s, widower’s or surviving civil partner’s pension also qualify.
And all over 70s are eligible to receive the Allowance.
What are 'excepted' people?
If you’re not living alone, but are only living with ‘excepted people’ i.e. someone who earns less than €310 a week, dependent children under 18 or an incapacitated person in need of care for more than a year, you can also get the Free Electricity Allowance.
The Households Benefits Package page of Citizen Information's website details all qualifying criteria.
I’m a tenant, what are the rules for me?
If you meet the criteria for the Free Electricity Allowance but are renting a property, your landlord must confirm in writing that you are indeed a tenant and are paying the electricity bills. She/he must also provide the MPRN of the address at which you’re living.
How does it work?
Electric Ireland automatically deducts the €35 Free Electricity Allowance from its customers’ monthly bills. Handy!
If you’re not an Electric Ireland customer, you can either opt to receive your €35 into your bank account on the first Tuesday of every month or to collect the sum from your local post office. If you go with the latter, you have 56 days to collect your Allowance. Don't put it off!
If you switch suppliers at any stage, your allowance will carry forward automatically. However, you’ll need to re-apply if you move house.
How do I apply?
If you qualify for the Free Electricity Allowance, just fill out HB1 form to apply.