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Energy Prices

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 25 November 2021

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Ceisteanna (273)

Christopher O'Sullivan

Ceist:

273. Deputy Christopher O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of persons applying for assistance with energy costs under the exceptional needs payment scheme, by county; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [58020/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)

Under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance (SWA) scheme, my Department operates schemes to help people with energy costs.

My Department may make a single exceptional need payment (ENP) to help meet essential, once-off expenditure which a person could not reasonably be expected to meet out of their weekly income.

In 2019, over 3,000 ENPs were made to assist with the payment of household bills and heating costs at a cost of €913,000 . Last year, 2,234 ENPs were made in this category at a total cost of €670,000. So far, 1,788 payments have been made this year (to the end of October 2021) at a cost of €565,000.

Table 1 shows the number of ENPs paid by county for energy related costs to end of October 2021.

A Heating Supplement may be paid to assist people in certain circumstances that have exceptional heating costs due to ill health, infirmity or a medical condition and are unable to meet those costs out of household income. Approximately 1,100 people benefited from this supplement in 2020. There are currently just under 1,000 claimants in receipt of a heating supplement.

Anyone who wishes to make an application for a payment under the SWA schemes should contact the Community Welfare Service at their local Intreo Centre. There is a national Income Support Helpline in place - 0818800024 - which will direct callers to the appropriate office. I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Table 1 - Number of ENPs paid by county for 2021 (end of October)

County

Number of Payments

Expenditure (€000)

CARLOW

25

€6,475

CAVAN

27

€8,792

CLARE

38

€11,370

CORK

256

€89,133

DONEGAL

123

€33,909

DUBLIN

177

€75,048

GALWAY

48

€10,935

KERRY

115

€32,401

KILDARE

49

€17,301

KILKENNY

58

€19,744

LAOIS

31

€9,143

LEITRIM

68

€20,466

LIMERICK

75

€28,401

LONGFORD

47

€16,241

LOUTH

52

€20,131

MAYO

57

€16,698

MEATH

92

€21,065

MONAGHAN

4

€850

OFFALY

31

€6,084

ROSCOMMON

30

€8,183

SLIGO

66

€19,538

TIPPERARY

159

€43,008

WATERFORD

27

€9,833

WESTMEATH

50

€11,230

WEXFORD

42

€10,050

WICKLOW

41

€18,962

Total

1,788

€564,991

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