If you are entitled to Carer’s Allowance, you may also be entitled to the Household Benefit Package. It will take you a bit of time getting the correct forms and filling them out but it will be worth it because you will get allowances for all of the following:

  • Electricity
  • Natural Gas / Bottle Refill
  • Telephone
  • Television Licence

Electricity Allowance

The Electricity Allowance covers normal standing charges, and up to 2,400 units of electricity each year. Following approval of your application for an Electricity Allowance, the Department notifies the ESB.  The ESB will apply the Allowance, including any backdated credit, to your next, or subsequent, bill. The Electricity Allowance is paid directly to the ESB. You must pay in the normal way for any electricity you use over and above the Allowance.  If your electricity provider is not the ESB, your Electricity Allowance will be paid directly to you to use towards your electricity bill.

Natural Gas Allowance

You are entitled to get €52 deducted from your gas bill every 2 months –  for June to November.  You are also entitled to have  €111 deducted from your gas bill every 2 months for December to May. If you don’t use your full Gas Allowance, you can carry up to €150 to your next bill.

If your home is not connected to an electricity/natural gas supply, but you satisfy the conditions of the scheme, you can avail of the Bottled Gas Refill Allowance of €40.70 each month instead.

Telephone Allowance

The Telephone Allowance is a payment towards your mobile phone or landline phone bill. You can get only one Telephone Allowance per household. It can be used for either a mobile phone or landline –  but not both. Your payment will be €21.41 (plus VAT of 21%) each month

Television Licence

When you qualify for the Household Benefits Package, the Department issues you with a free TV licence. It also notifies An Post of your entitlement.

To apply for the Household Benefit Package you need to fill in form HB1.  More information is available from the Department of Social Protection. Call 1890 500 000 or www.welfare.ie.