Govt to discuss how €200 energy credits will be paid
The Cabinet is to discuss how the energy assistance measures in Budget 2023 will be implemented.
Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan will bring a memo to Government outlining how the three €200 energy credits for all households will be paid.
One credit will be paid before Christmas and two afterwards.
A plan will also be put in place to ensure that Travellers who pay their local authority for electricity, will receive the credit.
Meanwhile, work is continuing in Government on guaranteeing that people on pre-pay energy plans will not be disconnected, but this item is not formally on today’s Cabinet agenda.
Elsewhere, Electric Ireland will tell the Oireachtas Committee on Environment and Climate Action that disconnections will always be a last resort and there is a regulatory moratorium in place this winter for vulnerable customers.
The energy supplier will also state that it expects its wholesale energy costs to increase to what it describes as a staggering €2 billion.
Two years ago this cost stood at €300 million and the change has resulted in price increases difficult for customers to absorb, TDs and senators will hear.
Separately, Mr Ryan will meet with energy suppliers and the utilities regulator to look for protections for pay-as-you-go energy customers.
On Sunday, the Taoiseach told RTÉ’s This Week, that the Government will guarantee people on pay-as-you-go energy tariffs will not be disconnected this winter.
The Department for the Environment, Climate and Communications said Mr Ryan will meet the Commission for Regulation of Utilities and energy suppliers over the coming weeks to emphasise the importance of customer protection and supports.
During these meetings he will raise the vulnerability of pay-as-you go customers and will also look for assurances and practical ways that customers can be protected.
The Commission for Regulation of Utilities said it has already let the department know that making any additional credits to pay-as-you-go customers is difficult because the metering systems cannot provide the data to identify these people.
In a statement it said: “The metering systems cannot provide the granularity of data required to identify the reasons for certain meters not being topped up or the cohort of customers. The CRU has made the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications aware of the limitations of the metering systems in this regard.
“While all electricity customers will benefit from the Government electricity credit that was recently announced during the budget, additional credits to PAYG customers would require further subvention or access to a non market-based credit mechanism.
“The CRU has announced additional customer protection measures for the coming winter to further enhance the existing protections that are in place.”
These protections included an extended disconnections moratorium for all domestic customers from mid-December to mid-January.
It also increased an “emergency credit” on all pre-pay meters, for when money runs out, from €10 to €20.
The credit increased on 1 October.