What help can you get paying your energy bills?
If you struggle to pay the day to day costs of running your home, you could qualify for a helping hand with your energy bills. Here are some of the grants and allowances that could help cut the cost of your gas and electricity.
There are three main supports available in Ireland that can help make energy bills a bit more manageable.
1. Household Benefits Package
This is a set of allowances to help towards the cost of running your home. If you’re eligible for the Household Benefits Package, you could get:
- A monthly gas or electricity allowance of €35 per month (€1.15 a day), all year round
- A free TV licence, from the next renewal date of your licence
If you’re over 70 you automatically qualify for the Household Benefits Package. However, you can also get it if you’re under 70 and meet additional qualifying criteria.
How to apply
You can apply online for the for the Households Benefits Package by visiting the MyWelfare website.
Find out more about the package and and check if you qualify on Gov.ie.
2. Fuel Allowance
If you’re getting certain social welfare payments, you’ll qualify for the Fuel Allowance which helps with the cost of heating your home during the winter months.
Payments run weekly, usually for 28 weeks from late September to April. You can also opt for two lump sum payments.
How much do you get?
It’s usually worth €924 in total, and works out the same whether you opt for weekly or lump sum payments.
As part of the government’s cost of living package, you will also get a lump sum of €400 in November 2022, bringing this year’s total allowance to €1,324.
There are two payment types:
- Weekly payments: Start late September and are €33 a week for 2022-2023.
- Two lump sum payments: The early October payment is €392 and the second lump sum, paid in January, is around €532.
If you apply later in the year, your payments will not be backdated.
How to apply
To apply for Fuel Allowance for the first time, you need to fill in a NFS1 form. Where you send the application form depends on the social welfare payment you are receiving.
Our guide: How to claim the Fuel Allowance covers more about how to apply, and how to change your payment type.
You can also visit the Gov.ie website to check if you qualify and find out more about the scheme.
3. Home Energy Grants
Another way to get help with your energy bills is to apply for energy grants offered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).
These grants are to help make your home more energy efficient, and reduce your gas and electricity bills. Some of the grants include money for:
- Heat pump system
- Heating controls
- Solar water heating
- Solar electricity
The value of these grants is based on your circumstances and the size of your home, but could be worth up to €6,000.
Fully funded energy upgrades are available for qualifying homeowners in receipt of certain welfare benefits.
How to apply
There are some steps to take before applying for a grant, the first of these is deciding what energy improvements your home needs.
Other ways to save on your energy bills
Once you’ve found out what financial support you can get, it’s worth looking at other ways you could make your bills cheaper.
Switch to a cheaper tariff
You could save up to €383 by switching to a cheaper gas & electricity tariff which could make a huge difference to your household bills.
Switching is easy and takes just a few minutes. If you haven’t switched in the last 12 months then it’s even more likely that you could make some big savings. Here’s how to switch your gas and electricity supplier.
Make your home more energy efficient
One of the best ways to cut your energy bills if you don’t qualify for support is to make simple changes in your home and use less gas and electricity.
There are lots of easy ways you can make your home more energy-efficient without spending any extra money.
See our top energy saving tips to get started.