Dairy, pig and poultry farms are among the businesses set to benefit from additional supports towards rising energy costs in Budget 2023.
Details of a new support scheme were outlined by Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe and Minister of State with responsibility for public expenditure, Michael McGrath in the Dáil today (Tuesday, September 27).
Minister Donohoe announced that he is introducing a Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS) to help businesses and farms with their energy costs over the winter months.
The scheme will be open to businesses that carry on a Case 1 trade, are tax compliant, and have experienced a significant increase in their natural gas and electricity costs.
The scheme will be administered by the Revenue Commissioners and will operate on a self-assessment basis. Businesses will be required to register for the scheme and to make claims within the required time limits.
It is proposed that the scheme will operate by comparing the average unit price for the relevant bill period in 2022 with the average unit price in the corresponding reference period in 2021.
If the increase in average unit price is more than 50%, then the threshold would be passed and the business would be eligible for support under the scheme.
Once eligibility criteria are met, the support will be calculated on the basis of 40% of the amount of the increase in the bill amount. A monthly cap of €10,000/trade will apply, and an overall cap will apply on the total amount which a business can claim.
The scheme is being designed to be compliant with the EU State Aid Temporary Crisis Framework and will need to be approved by the EU Commission in the advance of making payments.
More energy supports needed
Meanwhile, Food Drink Ireland (FDI), the Ibec group representing the food and drink sector, has welcomed the energy supports announced in Budget 2023 as a step in the right direction, but has called for larger supports over a longer time period.
FDI director Paul Kelly said:
“Energy supports are now central to the sustainability of many food and drink businesses as they will determine their ability to remain competitive in export markets like Great Britain where they also face the headwinds of a weakened sterling exchange rate.”
FDI also called for the energy supports for businesses to match those in other key EU export markets so that food and drink businesses can maintain valuable market positions.