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Gas & Electricity guide

What is the free electricity allowance?

What is the free electricity allowance?
Daragh Cassidy

Daragh Cassidy

Head Writer

The free electricity allowance is a €35 monthly 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 payment, which is part of the Household Benefits Package.

Am I eligible for the free electricity allowance?

The allowance is available to everyone aged over 70 and to people under 70 in certain circumstances. The payment isn't means tested and you don't need to be receiving a State pension in order to get it. 

You must be living in Ireland legally and permanently and be the only person in your household who is receiving the allowance.

People under 70

Individuals between 66 and 70 who are getting a State, Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner’s Pension can also get the €35 monthly allowance. If you are under 66 and are on Disability Allowance or are getting an Invalidity or Blind Pension, you can also qualify. 

However in both of these cases you must be living alone or only with 'excepted people'.

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 Household 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 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 90 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 apply online at

If you are unable to apply online, you can download the Household Benefit Package application form (pdf) and return it to the Household Benefits Package section:

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Household Benefits Package
Social Welfare Services
College Road

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