The Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS) – How it can help you

Struggling with business energy costs? Partner, Jennifer Power outlines how your business can claim payment against energy costs with the updated Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme.

The Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS) is a self-assessment-based scheme designed to assist businesses with their electricity or natural gas (energy) costs.


Businesses classified for tax as Case I or Case II (professionals in this category were added a month after TBESS was announced) under Schedule D – which includes most businesses carrying on a trade or profession – are eligible for the scheme.

Examples of eligible trades:

  • Retail shops.
  • Hotels.
  • Pubs.
  • Restaurants.
  • Cinemas.
  • Hairdressers.
  • Food and drinks suppliers.

Meanwhile, examples of professions include:

  • Accountants.
  • Architects.
  • Auctioneers.
  • Barristers.
  • Dentists.
  • Doctors.
  • Engineers.
  • Opticians.
  • Solicitors.
  • (Some sporting organisations and charities might be eligible under the scheme).

Eligible businesses must have complied with their tax obligations, including completing registration, filing and paying deadlines and must be eligible for a tax clearance certificate throughout the claim period. You can check your tax status via ROS.

If your business pays for electricity or gas on a Pay As You Go basis, it can avail of the TBESS, provided it meets the qualifying criteria. You must supply details from your energy statement to Revenue as part of a claim.

For your eligible business to qualify for the TBESS, it must:

  • pass the ‘energy costs threshold’ (details below).
  • be tax compliant with regard to tax registration, tax payments and filing of tax returns.
  • be eligible for a tax clearance certificate throughout the claim period.
  • be an eligible business throughout the claim period and intend to be an eligible business following the end of the claim period.
  • and complete the TBESS registration and claim process, including the completion of all required declarations.

These conditions must be met for each period for which your business is making a claim. And, qualifying businesses can claim 40% of the increases in their September 2022 to February 2023 energy bills and 50% of the increase in their March 2023 to July 2023 energy bills.

Finally, the increase in energy bills must be between the ‘claim period’ and the ‘reference period’; a claim period is a calendar month from September 2022 to July 2023. A reference period is the corresponding calendar month in the previous year. For example, September 2021 is the reference period for the September 2022 claim period.

Recent enhancements:

A number of enhancements have been made to the TBESS. The enhancements are as follows:

  • the extension of the scheme to 31 July 2023.
  • an increase in the monthly limit on payments for claim periods from 1 March 2023 onwards; the €10,000 monthly limit on payments under the scheme has been increased to €15,000 per qualifying business; and the €30,000 monthly limit has been increased to €45,000 per qualifying business in cases where the qualifying business operates across multiple locations.
  • a reduction of the energy costs threshold from 50% to 30%, with effect from 1 September 2022.
  • an increase in the Temporary Business Energy Payment (TBEP) amount from 40% to 50% of a business’ eligible costs from 1 March 2023.
  • and an extension of the time limit for all claims to 30 September 2023.

A qualifying business can make claims from September 2022 to July 2023 claim periods. Revenue is automatically reassessing claims using the new 30% energy costs threshold.

A business does not need to amend claims previously submitted to take account of the revised threshold. A business will receive a notification in its Revenue Online Service (ROS) inbox if any additional payment is due.

Energy costs threshold:

Now, an eligible business must satisfy the energy costs threshold in respect of each electricity or natural gas bill per claim.

The average unit price for electricity or natural gas must be calculated for each energy bill arising in a claim period. The average unit price is also calculated for the corresponding reference period in the previous year.

A comparison is then made between the average unit price for the electricity or natural gas costs of the:

  • bill in the claim period.
  • and corresponding reference period in the previous year.

For all of this to work, the average unit price must have increased by 30% or more per relevant bill.

Making A Claim: The TBESS calculator

The average unit price is the total costs of the bill, excluding Value-Added Tax (VAT) divided by the units of consumption.

You can use Revenue’s online calculator to determine whether your business meets the energy threshold. For this, you will need:

  • A current tax clearance certificate.
  • Energy bills for the reference period.
  • Energy bills for the claim period.

The following items should not be included in the eligible costs:

  • Value Added Tax (VAT).
  • any arrears or prepayments (the charges must relate to the particular billing period).

If you don’t have an energy bill for the reference period because your business is new, has expanded into another location or relocated and has a new electricity or gas account, you can use a ‘deemed reference unit price’ instead of the reference unit price.

And if you run a business from your own home, you should leave out your private energy use when making a claim. This must be done when you are working out the profits of the business and filing tax returns.

The TBESS Process:

Now that you have all of your documents together, you must:

  • register for the TBESS on Revenue Online Service: (for this you’ll need business details, electricity and gas details and eligibility details).
  • and complete a claim in respect of energy costs arising in a claim period, or claim periods. (Energy costs for a claim period relate to each calendar month from September ‘22 – July ‘23 and energy costs for a reference period relate to each calendar month from September ‘21 – July ‘22.).

Revenue’s TBESS calculator will:

  • apportion the bills, where the billing period relates to more than one calendar month.
  • calculate the energy costs threshold.
  • calculate the eligible costs.
  • and determine the amount of Temporary Business Energy Payment (TBEP) that you can claim.

If your business has more than one energy bill in a claim period, you can make a claim in respect of each bill. You will need to meet the qualifying criteria for each claim period and this is subject to a monthly limit.

Note, claims for an electricity or natural gas bill must be made by 30 September 2023

Compliance and record-keeping:

The billing details you provide should correspond with your business’s books and records as per previous details given to Revenue.

You may be required to submit supporting documentation when making your claim and/or Revenue may request additional documentation to verify the claim at a later date.

Finally, you must keep records relating to your claim for a period of 10 years following the end of a claim period.

How much can a business claim?

A limit applies to the total payments that a qualifying business can claim for each claim period; the limit is €10,000 for September 2022 to February 2023 claim periods; and the limit has been increased to €15,000 for March 2023 to July 2023 claim periods.

If your business has separate electricity and gas accounts, the limit of the eligible costs applies to both energy accounts.

I have businesses with more than one electricity account–what does this mean for me?

The monthly limit can be increased where a qualifying business operates across multiple locations and has more than one electricity account.

For the September 2022 to February 2023 claim periods, the monthly limit can increase by €10,000 per electricity account. This is subject to an overall monthly limit of €30,000 per qualifying business.

For the March 2023 to July 2023 claim periods, the monthly limit can increase by €15,000 per electricity account. This is subject to an overall monthly limit of €45,000 per qualifying business. 

Each electricity account must have its own unique Meter Point Reference Number (MPRN) identifier, with each MPRN having a separate electricity supply address.

Your business may have more than one electricity account and may be eligible for the increased limit. In this case, the limit will apply to both electricity and natural gas costs. The increased limit will not apply where multiple electricity accounts are located:

  • at the same electricity supply address.
  • or
  • adjacent to each other.

The total amount of relief that a single undertaking may claim is €2 million. This includes relief claimed under the TBESS. The limit is €250,000 in the case of farmers, and €300,000 in the case of fishery and aquaculture sectors. The meaning of ‘single undertaking’ is set out in de minimis aid legislation under European Union (EU) State aid rules. All entities controlled on a legal, or de facto, basis by the same entity are considered a single undertaking.

A qualifying business must inform Revenue if it is considered to be a single undertaking with another person. Each qualifying business that forms part of a single undertaking must provide Revenue with:

  • the name of each person in the single undertaking.
  • and the Tax Reference Number of each person in the single undertaking.

A single undertaking may designate one person to fulfil this reporting obligation on behalf of all members of the single undertaking.

To summarise:

  • The TBESS is aimed at providing financial support as energy bills remain high.
  • Revenue has provided a dedicated portal where you can easily register for the scheme and submit claims.
  • The system will carry out the required calculations so as a business owner, once you’ve registered for the scheme, submitting a claim is straightforward.
  • All you need to do is input the details from your bills and the system will do the heavy lifting for you.

It’s worth keeping an eye on the Revenue website for details on any further proposed enhancements to the scheme coming to fruition.

Our team is dedicated to providing you and your business with the absolute best business advice out there. We approach each and every case from a fresh perspective, working with you to find tailored solutions that leave your business feeling stronger than ever. With our expert analysis, we translate figures into a language you can understand. Using timely, reliable advice, our experienced team of experts devise sophisticated plans to encourage cost efficiency and growth. To find out more, contact our team at Fitzgerald Power today.

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