The Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS), which will assist businesses with their energy costs during the winter months, will open for registrations tomorrow – Saturday 26 November.
The €1.2 billion scheme, which will be administered by Revenue, received approval from the European Commission yesterday.
Businesses will be able to use the online system to submit claims under the scheme from December 5.
Payments under the scheme will be made once the Finance Bill, which contains the legislation underpinning the scheme, is enacted later in December.
Businesses who have seen their energy bills jump as a result of soaring wholesale prices caused by the war in Ukraine will receive aid in the form of direct grants.
Businesses that qualify will get up to 40% of the additional costs they are facing.
To qualify, they must demonstrate that their average monthly unit price for either electricity or gas has increased by at least 50%, compared to the average unit price for the same month in the previous year.
The scheme will initially run until February 28, but may be extended until April 30 at the latest.
It will be open to companies of all sizes active in all sectors that are affected by the current crisis, the only exception being credit and financial institutions.
Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar said the scheme is so important to so many businesses struggling to pay astronomical gas and electricity bills.
“My Government colleagues and I have been hearing from businesses all around the country about how much they really need this money – and we want to get it to them as soon as possible – ideally before Christmas,” Mr Varadkar said.
“So I urge business owners and managers – have your bills ready, have your tax clearance certificates ready, and make sure that your claim can be processed by Revenue without any undue delay,” he added.
The Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said the TBESS scheme is the largest single item announced as part of Budget 2023.
He said the scheme will provide much needed support to thousands of businesses across the country who are experiencing a material shock to the price of their energy inputs.
“The approval by the European Commission paves the way for Revenue to open the online system for registrations for the scheme on November 26, and to accept claims under the scheme from December 5,” he said.
“Businesses will start receiving payments under the scheme as soon as the Finance Bill is enacted later in December,” he added.
Speaking to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Minister Donohoe said the new scheme would be evaluated over time.
Paschal Donohoe said that during Covid he was called upon to do more with schemes in terms of expansion, but early next year the Government will review this by looking at hard data.
He said that the scheme recognizes the huge challenge that small and medium-sized businesses are now facing.
It will work with Revenue and make available up to €10,000 a month for businesses with one premises or up to €30,000 a month for those with multiple premises with payments to be made available by the end of the year.
He said that he fully understood and appreciated why some businesses felt the scope of the scheme was not enough, as some businesses – particularly smaller businesses – had “come through the grueling experience that was trying to look after a business during Covid then face this” .
“I totally understand why they want to know what the future will bring and why I can’t do more,” he said.
“I need to be confident that whatever program I bring forward is affordable and can make a difference and I believe we’ve got the balance right here,” he added.
He said the Government will reach a view and evaluate the scheme in January and February for 2023.
“We will evaluate with hard facts and data in the coming months,” he stated.