Businesses that have opened in the last year will be able to avail of an energy grant scheme that was initially limited to those that had been established for longer, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said on Tuesday.
The Government introduced the €1.25 billion scheme in last month's budget, providing businesses such as hotels, shops and restaurants with up to 40 per cent of the increase in electricity or gas bills if those costs have risen by over 50 per cent year-on-year.
Donohoe said a new procedure to facilitate more recently opened businesses will be included in the legislation underpinning the budget to give them access the scheme and not put them at a competitive disadvantage.
He said the legislation to be published on Thursday would also extend the scheme, which is capped at €10,000 per month and due to last until February, to some professional services.
Eligible businesses will have to be able to show they have seen a 50 per cent or more increase in their average energy unit price this year compared with the same period in 2021.
The scheme is to run until at least February 2023, with payments backdated to September when it was introduced.