Changes To Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme Welcome
Mar 02, 2023
North Cork Fine Gael Councillor John Paul O’Shea has welcomed the commencement of the changes made to the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme last week by way of Ministerial order.
The Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS) was introduced as part of a suite of government measures to counteract increased energy costs over the winter months which arose as a result of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. TBESS is a support available to tax compliant businesses experiencing increases in electricity or natural gas costs. The scheme operates on a self-assessment basis and is being administered by the Revenue Commissioners.
The scheme was due to expire on 28 February. However, as the impact of higher energy costs continue to be keenly felt by businesses across the country, last week the Government exercised powers contained in Finance Act 2022 to extend the scheme to 30 April 2023. They also exercised the power to increase the monthly limit on aid under the scheme to €15,000 per qualifying business in relation to a trade or profession, subject to an overall cap of €45,000 in cases where a business is carried on from more than one location. The enhanced limits will apply for claim periods from 1 March 2023.
In addition to these changes, the government also agreed last week to make a number of further enhancements to the scheme. These enhancements require State aid approval and subject to receiving that approval will be provided for in the forthcoming Finance Bill. The additional proposed enhancements include:
extending the scheme further to 31 May 2023
reducing, with effect from 1 September 2022, the energy cost threshold for qualification for the scheme from a 50% increase in electricity or gas costs to a 30% increase
increasing, from 1 March 2023 the level of relief from 40% to 50% of eligible costs
extension of the time limit for making claims under the scheme
Further information on these additional enhancements to the scheme will be available in due course on the Revenue website.
Pending implementation of these changes, eligible businesses can continue to register for the TBESS as normal, and can continue to make claims in respect of claim periods up to the end of February 2023.
The facility to make claims in relation to energy bills covering the period from 1 March 2023 onwards will become available once State aid approval is received.
Revenue will automatically process claims using the revised parameters for the scheme, it will not be necessary for businesses to revise claims already submitted to take account of the revised qualification threshold of 30%.
Reduce Your Use campaign
The government’s Reduce Your Use campaign (www.gov.ie/ReduceYourUse; #ReduceYourUse) provides a signpost to specific, existing sources of help that are out there, to help people identify appropriate supports for their needs.
‘Reduce Your Use’ is a cross-government public information campaign which commenced in April 2022.
Where safe and possible, people are being asked to reduce energy wastage. Using less energy will help homes and businesses to save money.
Key partners involved in the Reduce Your Use campaign are the CRU (Commission for Regulation of Utilities), MABS (Money and Budgeting Advice Service), ALONE and SEAI.
This campaign is research-led. Current research shows that people are worried about the energy situation, but also shows they want advice on how to make the biggest differences to their energy bills.