Q&A: How will the Government’s electricity credit work?

In the 2023 Budget, it was announced that domestic electricity customers will receive an additional €600 credit to help lower the cost of energy bills.

Earlier this year, electricity customers nationwide received a €200 electricity credit in a bid to offset the wave of energy price hikes we’ve experienced over the past year. 

Since then it has been revealed that households will receive a further €600 from the Government in the form of electricity credit. 

Keep reading to find out all you need to know about the credit.  

What is the electricity credit?

The electricity credit, officially known as the Electricity Costs (Domestic Electricity Accounts) Emergency Measures Act 2022, was originally signed into law on 4th March.

Eligible households received the full benefit of €200 off their electricity bills, which includes VAT.

During Budget 2023, it was announced that an enhanced additional electricity credit of €600 will also be applied to domestic electricity bills. This will be split between three instalments.

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. 

€1.2 billion has been allocated for energy supports to help consumers with the costs of utilities in 2022 and 2023. 

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. 

Who is eligible for the credit?

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

You are 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.

The effective dates for being registered as a domestic electricity customer with an energy supplier are:

  • The first payment period: 27th of October 2022 
  • The second payment period: 20th of December 2022 
  • The third payment period: 27th of February 2022 

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 €600 credit will be paid in three instalments of €200.

You’ll notice the instalments being applied to your bills as follows:

  • The first instalment: Between 1 November and 31 December 2022
  • The second instalment: Between 1 January and 28 February 2023
  • The third instalment: Between 1 March and 30 April 2023

You should see a ‘credit line’ on your bill in the amount of €183.49 (this is €200 excluding VAT). The total payments will be €550.47 across the 3 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. 

The credit may not appear on your first bill during these payment periods as this will depend on your individual billing cycle. 

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 €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 months, they’ll miss out on the credit. Don’t worry though, you will still get the electricity credit if you decide to switch suppliers. 

When you switch, you'll be issued a closing bill from your previous supplier. And any credit on your account will be used to pay this bill. If, however, you're still owed money, then the remaining amount will be refunded by the same method you used to pay your bills. However you may need to contact your current supplier to arrange this refund.

If you switch to another provider after receiving one or two of the credits (€200/€400), you'll still receive the remaining credit you are due. This credit will be automatically applied to your bill by your new provider on your January and March bills in 2023.

The supplier you were with:

  • On 27 October 2022 is responsible for giving you the first credit
  • On 20 December 2022 is responsible for giving you the second credit
  • On 27 February 2023 is responsible for giving you the third credit

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 €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 three separate top-up transactions, over a few days. 

The credit will be broken down into three smaller amounts, such as €90, €90 and €20 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 your 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 of January 2023 (first instalment)
  • 31st of March 2023 (second instalment)
  • 31st of May 2023 (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 €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.

Switch and save on your energy

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

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

All energy suppliers in the Irish market are competing for new customers, and as such, they are still offering enticing discounts. So, despite prices on the rise, it’s still worthwhile making the switch.

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, bonkers.ie 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 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.