Farmers and rural businesses have been reminded that the deadline to submit claims for the first month of the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS) is fast approaching.

Chair of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA) Farm Business Committee, Shane O’Loughlin, has warned those intending to engage with the scheme that the first month covered by it was September 2022.

The deadline to submit claims for this month falls on January 31, and submissions can be made on the Revenue website.

The TBESS offers supports to certain businesses which have experienced an increase of 50% or more in their electricity or gas unit price in the reference period for the months of September 2022 to February 2023.

Businesses that meet this criteria can claim up to 40% of the increase in their energy bills back via the scheme.

Explaining the eligibility criteria further, O’Loughlin said “the increase in energy bills must be between the claim period and the reference period in question”.

“A claim period is a calendar month from September to February. A reference period is the corresponding calendar month in the previous year.

“So, for example, September 2021 is the reference period for the September 2022 claim period and this is where the first deadline is looming.

“January 31, is the last day to claim for the increased energy costs of September 2022 relative to September 2021.”

This system will continue until June of this year, however, there is a €10,000 limit to the total payments that a qualifying business can claim per month.

Changes to the TBESS

O’Loughlin stated that an extension of the TBESS this year would be valid, as energy prices from utility companies have not fallen sufficiently.

He said that this should be “given priority”, while ICMSA called on Revenue to make the application process simpler.

“Many farmers have spoken of their frustration when applying through Revenue’s Online Service about its complexity,” said O’Loughlin.

“It really should be as straightforward as possible and we want to encourage as many farmers as possible to get their supports and ease the higher costs associated with ongoing inflation in energy markets,” he concluded.