The largest single measure announced on Budget Day was the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme to assist businesses with their energy cost over the winter months.
Fine Gael understands that businesses are facing a difficult and uncertain time with higher energy bills and weaker consumer demand.
Through Budget 2023, we are backing business by putting more money in people’s pockets, cutting tax, providing special cost-of-living payments, and helping with energy bills.
The Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme – or TBESS for short – is one of the ways Fine Gael is helping businesses this winter.
What is TBESS?
The Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme – is a scheme designed to help businesses manage the higher electricity and natural gas bills this winter. Through TBESS, the government is providing up to €10,000 – or €30,000 in some cases – per month to eligible businesses whose energy bills have increased by more than half when compared with last year.
What financial help is available?
TBESS does not look at turnover or profitability – it is focused on helping with the increases in energy costs. Eligible businesses receive a payment of up to 40% of the increase in their electricity and gas bill up to a maximum of €10,000 per month. Businesses that operate from more than one premises, e.g., from several branches and have more than one meter point reference number (MPRN) or gas meter reference number (GMPRN), may qualify for up to €30,000 per month.
Who is eligible for TBESS?
TBESS is available to companies, the self-employed and partnerships carrying out a trade or profession. Examples of eligible businesses include cafés, restaurants, pubs and hotels, retailers, hairdressers and barbers, solicitors and accountants, creches and Montessori schools, nursing homes, doctors and opticians, veterinary surgeries and farmers, among others. In some cases, TBESS is available to help with the costs associated with part of a business or organisation, for example a café or bar within a sports club.
To qualify for assistance, a business must be able to show that their electricity or natural gas bills have increased by 50% or more when compared with the same month or billing period last year. The increase is measured on the average unit price and is known as the ‘energy cost threshold’.
How do I apply?
TBESS is being administered by Revenue on behalf of the Government. The easiest way to apply is through the Revenue Online Service. When registering for the scheme you will need to include details of the business and information on the relevant electricity and gas connections.
The scheme runs from 1st September 2022 to at least 28th February 2023 and is now open for claims. Businesses will receive their payment – backdated to September if appropriate – before the end of the year. Claims must be made within four months of the end of the claim period. For example, a claim relating to September 2022 must be made by the end of January 2023.
Revenue has published guidelines on the operation of the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme, with examples of the energy cost threshold, the eligible costs, and the amount that can be claimed.
Are there other supports available?
Fine Gael in government has introduced other schemes to help businesses with rising costs this winter, including:
The Ukraine Enterprise Crisis Scheme for viable but vulnerable firms in manufacturing and internationally-traded services. The €200m fund will provide up to €500,000 in direct grants, advance payments, and/or loans and up to €2m for businesses in energy-intensive sectors.
A €1.2bn State-backed Ukraine Credit Guarantee Scheme which will provide low-cost working capital to SMEs and primary producers.
A low-cost Growth and Sustainability Investment Loan Scheme to help SMEs, farmers and fishers with energy efficiency and sustainability measures.
A €4m boost to the Local Enterprise Network to start the new Small Firms Investment in Energy Efficiency Scheme which will provide grants to companies to encourage capital investment in projects that reduce carbon emissions.