Image Q&A: How will the €200 electricity credit work?

The €200 subsidy will be applied to electricity accounts nationwide and will be credited through your supplier.

Last year the Government announced there would be a one-off €200 electricity credit given to households nationwide. 

The move came in a bid to help offset the energy price hikes that emerged from the ongoing energy crisis.

As the rollout of the credit comes underway, we took a look at some of the most common questions we’ve been asked about the electricity credit.

What is the electricity credit?

The electricity credit, officially known as the Electricity Costs (Domestic Electricity Accounts) Emergency Measures Act 2022, was signed into law on 4th March. Households eligible for the credit will receive the full benefit of €200 off their electricity bills, which includes VAT.

The credit, which is part of the Government’s cost of living package, will be provided to up to 2.25 million homes nationwide to help offset the wave of energy price hikes we’ve experienced over the last year. 

The scheme is set to cost around €400 million in total and is being overseen by the energy regulator, the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU). 

The measures are being rolled out and operated by ESB Networks. 

Is the credit for gas, electricity, or both?

The one-off credit is only for domestic electricity customers, who are registered with an electricity supplier in the Republic of Ireland. It’s not available for gas customers. 

Who is eligible for the credit?

The credit will automatically be given to all domestic electricity accounts.

You’ll receive the credit if you’re registered as either of the following by March 29th 2022:

  • An urban domestic customer: This is classified as DG1 on your electricity bill.
  • A rural domestic customer: This is classified as DG2 on your electricity bill.

Do I need to sign up for the credit?

Those eligible for the credit don't need to apply or sign up for it, as it will automatically be deducted from electricity bills.

How will I receive the credit?

The subsidy will be deducted from domestic electricity bills by suppliers in the form of credit. The credit is not in the form of a cash payment. 

When will I see the credit come off my electricity bill?

The Government has confirmed that the credit will start being deducted during the spring/summer billing cycle. 

Electricity customers will begin to notice the credit appearing on their bills between April 1st and June 30th.

When you check your electricity bill, you will see a ‘credit line’ on your bill for €176.22 (this is €200 excluding VAT). 

This will either have the identifier ‘Government Electricity Credit’, or an abbreviated version (e.g. Govt. Credit, Govt. Cr.), depending on your supplier.

Each supplier will have information on their website regarding when exactly the credit will show up on customers’ bills. 

Will I get the credit for any additional homes I have?

The credit will apply to every domestic electricity account. 

So, if you have multiple homes in the Republic of Ireland with a domestic electricity account you will get the credit for each account.

Will I get the credit if I have pay-as-you-go electricity?

The credit will be available to those using pre-pay electricity meters. Pre-pay electricity customers will be contacted by their supplier by letter or email between April and June, to explain how they will receive the credit.

Most pre-pay meters will accept the €200 credit in full, however if you have an older hardship pre-pay meter, special arrangements have been made so that you can receive the credit. 

Hardship meters have a limit of €300, and the €200 credit could put the meter over this limit.

If your pre-pay meter has a limit, you’ll be able to redeem the €200 electricity credit over 3 separate top-up transactions, over a few days. 

The credit will be broken down into 3 smaller amounts, such as €90, €90 and €20 over several days.

If my bill is less than €200 will I lose the remaining credit?

If your electricity bill amounts to less than €200, then the balance of the credit will be carried over into the next bill so that you can receive the remaining benefit then. 

Will I still get the credit if I switch electricity suppliers?

Many are concerned that if they switch their supplier over the coming weeks, they’ll miss out on the credit. Don’t worry though, you will still get the electricity credit if you decide to switch suppliers. 

If you make the switch between 29th March and 30th June 2022, then the supplier you were with on 29th March must provide you with the credit. 

Suppliers can apply the credit to your closing bill, or credit you back through the same method that you pay your bills. 

Keep in mind that if you recently switched to a new supplier, it can take up to four weeks for your switch to be fully complete. If your switch was not fully complete by March 29th, your previous supplier will be responsible for providing you with the credit. 

Will I receive the credit twice if I switch electricity supplier?

No, if you switch your energy supplier you won’t receive the credit twice. As mentioned above, the supplier you were with on 29th March will provide you with the credit.

Will the VAT reduction have an impact on the electricity credit? 

On May 1st, the Government reduced VAT on gas and electricity bills. VAT on gas and electricity bills was temporarily cut, from 13.5% to 9%.

This in turn has had an impact on the VAT element of the Government's electricity credit. If your electricity bill was issued after the 1st of May, then you'll receive €192 instead of €200 (€176.22 + VAT of 9%).

What should I do if I don’t receive the credit?

If you’re worried you haven’t received the credit, make sure you check the information on your supplier’s website about when the credit is due to be issued.

If you switched energy supplier around March 29th, you should receive the credit on your closing bill from your old supplier. However, if you did not receive the credit, get in touch with the supplier as there may have been an administrative error.

On the other hand, if you didn't switch supplier and you still haven’t received your credit by the 30th of June 2022, you should contact your provider to enquire about the credit. 

Will I get the credit if I’m a tenant?

If you’re a tenant and you pay your landlord for your electricity, as opposed to paying the energy provider yourself, your landlord should pass the €200 credit onto you.

If there’s a dispute about the credit that can’t be resolved, you can contact the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) who will help settle the dispute.

Can the credit be used to pay off debt?

Yes. If you have debt on your electricity account, the credit can be used to pay this off.

Will the credit be enough for energy customers?

While the credit is a welcome help, it will only put a very small dent in people’s bills. 

The average annual electricity bill is now over €1,600 so it will only cover about six weeks’ worth of electricity.

It’s likely that further measures will still be needed, such as a reduction in VAT and perhaps another energy credit in advance of next winter. 

Unfortunately, the credit isn't going to go very far anymore. 

However, it’s not all doom and gloom, as you could save hundreds of euro on your annual energy bills by switching to a cheaper supplier!

Switch and save on your energy

If you’re looking to save more than just €200 on your electricity bills, why not switch to a cheaper energy supplier?

Not only could you switch electricity suppliers, but also gas. 

There are currently 13 energy suppliers in the Irish market, who are all actively competing for new customers. It’s even possible to get discounts of up to 30-40% off standard rates. So, despite prices going up, it’s still worth switching to save

Simply head over to our energy comparison page to begin reviewing the options available to you from all major energy suppliers nationwide. Whether you’re looking to compare electricity, gas, or dual fuel deals, has you covered.

You can review the steps involved in running an energy comparison in this guide, and learn what’s involved in the switching process here

Energy is just one of the many comparison tools we have on our website. You can also compare deals and prices for a range of other products and services, such as broadband, phone and TV deals, insurance types and banking products.

Have any questions?

Do you have any questions that we didn’t answer about the €200 electricity credit? If so, get in touch with us and we’d be happy to help. You can contact us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.