Minister for Social Protection, Éamon Ó Cuív TD has confirmed this morning (5
th October 2010) that the value of the
Electricity Allowance, administered under the Department of Social Protection’s
Household Benefits Package, has been increased to cover the cost of the Public Service Obligation (“PSO”) levy on domestic electricity use with immediate effect.
The PSO levy on electricity is an additional charge designed to support the national policy objectives of ensuring a secure energy supply, the use of indigenous fuels and the use of renewable energy sources in electricity generation.
“I am pleased to announce that the Government has decided that the Electricity Allowance is to cover the PSO levy with immediate effect and will ensure that it will not have an impact on the Department of Social Protection customers who benefit from this support,” said Minister Ó Cuív.
The cost of the PSO levy to a domestic electricity customer is €2.73 per month (or €3.10 inclusive of VAT). In a full year, the cost to the Department of Social Protection of covering the PSO levy for the Electricity Allowance customers is €12.6 million (including VAT).
The Electricity Allowance covers standing charges and up to 2,400 units of electricity each year. The Electricity Allowance is administered by the Department of Social Protection to 340,000 customers at an annual cost of €184 million.
Household Benefits Package
The Household Benefits Package administered by the Department of Social Protection is made up of three allowances: Electricity or Gas Allowance; Telephone Allowance and Free Television Licence.
These allowances provide contributions towards an electricity or natural gas or bottled gas refill bill and telephone bill and cover the cost of the Television Licence each year. The allowances are applied directly to the customer’s bills, where applicable.
The Household Benefits Package is available to people aged over 70 who are resident in the State and to people under age 70 who are also resident in the State in certain circumstances. Only one person in a household can qualify for the package at any time.
The Electricity Allowance covers normal standing charges and up to 2,400 units of electricity each year. It is paid as a credit on an electricity bill, where possible. Otherwise it is paid as a cash payment.