The Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS) is a initiative announced by the UK Government to support businesses and other non-domestic customers in Northern Ireland.
The scheme will provide discounts to energy usage for a six-month period between 1 October 2022 and 31 March 2023.
For those eligible, Electric Ireland are now including discounts on customer's bills. Your discount will be backdated to 1 October 2022. We are endeavouring to roll this out as quickly as possible, but timing may differ depending on complexities of individual customer products. The discounts will be applied in pence per Kilowatt Hour (p/kWh), on calculations set out by the UK Government. Please note that the level of discount on individual’s bills will vary based on your contract and tariff.
The UK government have also announced the Energy Bill Discount Scheme (EBDS) in a bid to support businesses over the next 12 months, once the EBRS comes to an end. The EBDS will run from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024.
You can read the full guidance report for EBRS here.
You can read the latest guidance report for EBDS here.
You can also find FAQs on the EBDS here, or on the Advanced Fuel Payment (AFP) initiative here.
1. How do I know if I am eligible for the EBRS?
The scheme will be available to the following non-domestic customers:
These customers must be:
- Businesses &
- Voluntary sector organisations, such as charities &
- Public sector organisations such as schools, hospitals and leisure centres
For further eligibility criteria, visit this webpage.
- on existing fixed price contracts that were agreed on or after 1 December 2021
- signing new fixed price contracts
- on variable ‘day ahead’ tariffs
- on deemed/out of contract or standard variable tariffs
- on flexible purchase contracts
2. Are any businesses excluded from the EBRS?
The scheme is intended to be broadly applied but there may be very limited exclusions, for example businesses that use gas or electricity for the purpose of generating power they are selling back into the grid, such as power stations, pumped hydro or grid-level battery storage.
Additionally, if you signed your fixed contract before 1 December 2021, you will not be eligible under government guidelines.
This support package only applies to fixed rate contracts signed after 1 December 2021, as it was from that point the more drastic wholesale price rises have taken effect. If you signed your fixed rate contract before 1 December 2021 you will not be eligible for support under this scheme.
3. I use Gas or Electricity for the purpose of generating power, what do I need to do?
The onus is on you as the customer to inform Electric Ireland that you are excluded from the scheme. For more information on exclusions, please click here.
4. How much will the discount be?
The discounts will be applied in pence per Kilowatt Hour (p/kWh).
The p/kWh rate outlined by the government will be the same across all suppliers for comparable contracts. However, the final discount on individual bills will vary based on your contract and tariff type.
For flexible and variable contracts, the discount will reflect the difference between the government supported price and the relevant wholesale price but be subject to the maximum discount.
For fixed contracts, the discount will be calculated by the government and published weekly in this table or on their website here. The relevant discount is based on the date your fixed price contract was priced.
Please note the following rates:
Government Supported Price:
Electricity: 21.1 p/kWh
Gas: 9.1 p/kWh
Government Maximum Discount:
Electricity: 34.5 p/kWh
Gas: 7.5 p/kWh
5. Who is paying for the discount?
The government are compensating suppliers for the reduction in wholesale gas and electricity unit prices that they are passing onto non-domestic customers.
6. How do I receive the discount?
You don’t need to take any action or apply for the scheme as the discount will be automatically applied to all eligible bills.
7. When will I see the discount on my bill?
For those eligible, Electric Ireland is now including discounts on customer's bills. Your discount will be backdated to 1 October 2022. We are endeavouring to roll this out as quickly as possible, but timing may differ depending on complexities of individual customer products.
8. I believe I am eligible for the EBRS; however, the discount did not appear on my bill in December.
There are three reasons as to why a discount may not have been applied to your bill:
1. You are on a fixed price contract which was priced prior to the 1st of December 2021
2. Your effective rates are already below the Government supported price of 21.1 p/kWh
3. Your business is excluded from the scheme. Please see reasons for this in FAQ #2 listed above.
9. What will the discount look like on my bill? It will be applied as a credit to your bill and will be itemised to state that it is the EBRS discount. This bill line item will also include the level of discount that has been applied (in p/kWh) and the total bill consumption (in kWh) that the discount has been applied to.
For example: EBRS Discount of 10.6 p/kwh on 320,000 kwh
The EBRS will end on 31st March 2023. With this scheme coming to an end on the 31st March 2023, the UK government have announced the EBDS scheme in a bid to continue supporting businesses over the next 12 months.
10. When will the EBRS end?
The EBDS will run from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024.
For further information, please visit here.
All eligible businesses will qualify for the Energy Bill Discount Scheme (EBDS) from 1st April 2023. The EBDS scheme will run from 1st April 2023 to 31st March 2024. Customers do not need to take any action or apply for this scheme. Electric Ireland will automatically apply reductions to the bills of all eligible business customers.
11. What will happen after the EBRS ends?
If you are however an Energy & Trade Intensive Industry* (ETII) customers, you may eligible to apply for the higher level of support. Further details on how this will work will be published by the UK Government in due course.
Click here for further details on the EBDS.
*You may be considered an Energy & Trade Intensive Industry customer if you have primary operations in the sectors listed here. If your Standard Industry Classification (SIC) code is listed, you may be eligible for increased support under the ETII scheme. Click here for further details on the EBDS.
All eligible businesses will receive discount support through the Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS). If your home business is not eligible, you may be able to receive support through the domestic Energy Price Guarantee (EPG).
12. Am I entitled to the scheme (EBRS) if I operate my business out of my home premise?
For further guidance, information and supports from Electric Ireland, visit our dedicated business SupportHUB.
13. Does Electric Ireland have any other supports for my business at present?
For FAQs on the Energy Bill Discount Scheme (EBDS), please click here.
For FAQs on the Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP) initiative, please click here.
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