Typically, you need to meet certain criteria but it is worth reviewing them to see what you or your loved ones may be entitled to.
Household Benefits Package
The Household Benefits Package (HBP) helps towards the costs of electricity or gas bills. Only one Household Benefit Package is payable per household.
Did you know that this payment is available to everyone over 70? It is not means tested and you do not need to be getting a pension.
If you are between 66 and 70 you may still get the payment, if you meet the necessary conditions.
If you are under 70 and you live with your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant, you can qualify for the HBP, however you must be getting the necessary qualifying social welfare payment and your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant must be a Qualified Adult on your welfare payment.
There may be other requirements that also must be met.
The rate of payment for your electricity or gas bill is €1.15 per day, paid monthly. This benefit will contribute just under €420 a year to your energy bills which can be a great help towards winter bills.
Through the Household Benefits Package you also qualify for a free Television Licence from its next renewal date. You apply for this as part of the application.
To find out if you or any of your family are eligible for the Household Benefit Package, click here.
Electricity Account Credit
It was announced in Budget 2023 that domestic electricity customers will get €600 credit to help reduce electricity bills.
The credit will be paid in 3 instalments of €200. The first payment will be made in November 2022. The second electricity credit will be made in January 2023.
The third will be made in March 2023. The payment is automatic, and you do not need to apply for it.
Find out more here.
A Fuel Allowance is a payment to help with the cost of heating your home during the winter months.
You can get the Fuel Allowance, if you are getting a long-term social welfare payment and you are unable to provide for your heating needs from your own resources.
The Fuel Allowance season normally runs from late September to April. The current weekly rate is €33. Only one Fuel Allowance is paid to a household.
The Fuel Allowance is generally paid with your social welfare payment on the same day. You can choose to get the Fuel Allowance paid weekly or paid in 2 lump sums.
Fuel Allowance will be paid from the week starting Monday 26 September 2022. It will be paid for 28 weeks. It cannot be backdated if you apply after the 26 September.
Fuel Allowance is a means-tested payment. The Department of Social Protection examines all your sources of income. Your gross weekly income must be below a certain amount to pass the means test.
To read the full eligibility criteria and access the NFS-1 form you need to apply for fuel allowance, click here.
Free Energy Upgrade for Eligible Homes
The Free Energy Upgrade Scheme, is co-funded by the Irish Government and the European Union Regional Development Fund, to deliver fully funded home energy upgrades to homeowners who receive certain welfare payments. The service can help to make your home warmer and more efficient to run.
The scheme focuses on homes that have a low energy rating, such as a BER of E, F or G. Existing applications will not be affected by this change.
An SEAI surveyor will recommend upgrades that are suitable for your property. These may include;
Attic insulation, External wall insulation, Internal wall insulation, Secondary work such as lagging jackets, energy efficient lighting and more.
To qualify, you need to meet these 3 key criteria to apply for the Fully Funded Energy Upgrade Scheme.
- You must own and live in your own home
- Your home was built and occupied before 2006.
- You receive one of the following welfare payments:
Fuel Allowance as part of the National Fuel Scheme.
Job Seekers Allowance for over six months and have a child under seven years of age
Working Family Payment
One-Parent Family Payment
Domiciliary Care Allowance
Carers Allowance and live with the person you are caring for
Disability Allowance for over six months and have a child under seven years of age
To find out more and learn how to apply, click here.