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All households to receive energy credits worth a total of €600

The first credit, worth €200, will be applied to bills in November.

Image: Shutterstock

HOUSEHOLDS ARE TO receive energy credits worth a total of €600 over the coming months.

The move was announced today by Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath as part of a series of measures in Budget 2023 which attempt to ease the impact of the energy crisis on the public.

The credits will be applied automatically to accounts in a series of three €200 credits, with the first being applied to bills in November, and again in January and March.

The measure will cost a total of €1.2 billion.

A temporary reduction in the VAT rate on gas and electricity from 13.5% to 9% was also extended until 28 February 2023.

This is the second round of energy credits announced by government.

A €100 rebate was approved before Christmas 2021 which was then increased to €200 (€176 ex VAT) as part of a cost-of-living package announced earlier this year and applied to electricity bills during the summer.

Households have faced repeated hikes in their electricity and gas bills over recent months as the energy crisis deepens, and at a time when the cost-of-living crisis is already putting strain on people’s pockets.

The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) warned previously that as many as 43% of households could now be in energy poverty, defined as when more than 10% of the household’s income is spent on electricity and gas bills.

This is up from a record high of 29% in June 2022.

The ESRI report added that measures such as energy credits are better targeted at the households that need it most, as broader measures – such as those announced by government today – could have unintended consequences such as disincentivising energy-saving technology. 

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Nicky Ryan

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