In the 2024 Budget, it was announced that all residential electricity customers will receive a new €450 credit to help them cope with the cost of energy bills this winter.
Since then it has been announced that households will receive a further €450 from the Government in the form of electricity credits this winter.
Keep reading to find out all you need to know about the new credit.
What is the electricity credit?
During Budget 2024, it was announced that an additional electricity credit of €450 (which includes VAT) will be applied to all residential electricity bills. This will be paid in three €150 instalments.
The credit will be provided to up to 2.3 million homes nationwide to help households cope with energy costs which will remain near record levels this winter.
The scheme is being overseen by the energy regulator, the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU), with the measures being rolled out and operated by ESB Networks.
Is the credit for gas, electricity, or both?
The 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 or businesses.
Who is eligible for the credit?
The credit will automatically be given to all domestic electricity accounts.
You're eligible for the credit if you are registered with an energy supplier on the effective dates as either:
- 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'll be automatically applied to your electricity bills.
How will I receive the credit?
The credit 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 or bank draft.
When will I see the credit come off my electricity bill?
The €450 credit will be paid in three instalments of €150.
You’ll notice the credits being applied to your bills as follows:
- The first instalment: Between 1st December and 31st December 2023
- The second instalment: Between 1st January and 31st January 2024
- The third instalment: Between 1st March and 31st March 2024
You should see a ‘credit line’ on your bill to the amount of €137.61 (this is €150 excluding VAT at 9%). The total payments will be €412.84 excluding VAT across the three instalments. The credit will have an identifier on your bill of either ‘Government Electricity Credit 1, 2 or 3’ or an abbreviated version of this depending on your supplier, e.g. ‘Govt. Credit 1’.
The exact date you get your credit will depend on the date that your supplier normally sends you your bill.
Each supplier will have information on their website regarding when exactly the credit will show up on customers’ bills.
If my bill is less than €150 will I lose the remaining credit?
If your electricity bill amounts to less than €150, then the balance of the credit will be carried over onto your next bill so that you can receive the remaining benefit then.
Will I still get the credit if I switch electricity supplier?
Many are concerned that if they switch supplier over the coming months, they’ll miss out on some of the credits. Don’t worry though, you'll still get all the electricity credits you're entitled to.
If you switch to another provider after receiving one or two of the credits (€150/€300), the remaining credit you're due will be automatically applied to your bill by your new provider on your January and March bills in 2024.
You won't lose out on any credit by switching and you don't need to stay with the same supplier to get all three credits.
What if my account is in credit when I switch?
When you switch, you'll be issued a closing bill from your previous supplier within around a week. And any credit on your account will be used to pay this final bill. If, however, you're still in credit, then the remaining amount will be refunded by the same method you used to pay your bills. You may need to contact your previous supplier to arrange this refund though.
However any Government credits that you are still due will automatically be issued to you by your new supplier as outlined above.
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 to explain how they can redeem the credit.
Most pre-pay meters will accept the €150 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 €150 credit could put the meter over this limit.
If your pre-pay meter has a limit, you’ll be able to redeem the €150 electricity credit over three separate top-up transactions, over a few days.
The credit will be broken down into three smaller amounts, such as €50, €50 and €50 over several days. This will be repeated for each of the three credits issued.
Will I receive the credit twice if I switch electricity supplier?
No, if you switch energy supplier you won’t receive the credit twice.
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.
You should contact your electricity supplier if you do not receive your credit by:
- 31st January 2024 (first instalment)
- 29th February 2024 (second instalment)
- 31st May 2024 (third instalment)
You can find the contact details for your electricity supplier on your most recent bill or statement.
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 each €150 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.
Be wary of fraud!
As mentioned, you don't need to apply for the credit as it'll be paid automatically.
Be highly suspicious or any texts, calls or emails you receive from anyone purporting to be your supplier in relation to the credit or how to claim it.
Switch and save on your energy
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Not only could you switch electricity suppliers, but also gas.
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