The municipal government deploys an energy bill support program for low-income people | News
The program will pay up to 80% of an energy bill, be it electricity, natural gas or district heating, and is open for applications, mainly online, from mid- January.
It will also work in tandem with national programs aimed at supporting
The prices of electricity, natural gas and district heating (centralized heating of apartment buildings which is generally supplied in the form of hot water, generally the by-product of the activity of power plants – editor’s note) have soared in recent weeks as temperatures in Tallinn have moved in the opposite direction.
Tallinn’s Deputy Mayor Betina Beškina (Center) said: “The objective of the compensation is to help less well-off households to pay rising energy bills, so that their standard of living does not fall. not deteriorate at an already difficult time.
“Residents can apply for the allowance to partially offset costs incurred from September to March,” Beškina added, via a press release from the municipal government.
“We will start accepting support requests from mid-January at the latest, as technical solutions and additional staff trained in the necessary skills should be in place by then. We will provide further advice on the application process as soon as possible. Considering that the number of potential beneficiaries in Tallinn is likely to exceed 15,000 families, the city will need to recruit and train new staff to process the claims. ”Beškina continued.
Applications relate to the costs of electricity, gas and district heating in the capital and will be accepted from mid-January at the latest, for energy costs incurred in September, and in February for reimbursement of costs. costs incurred from October.
The allowance will be paid to individuals or families whose average net income is below the relative imputed poverty line set by the regulation – which for 2022 will be (the figure refers to the combined monthly net salary for all employees):
- Single person living alone: € 673.
- Household for two adults: € 1,009.
- Household for two adults and two under 14: € 1,413.
The applicant must submit documents showing the amount of energy consumed and the corresponding cost, after which the grant will be paid at 80% of the total energy price, according to the city government.
Consumption should be expressed in megawatt hours or kilowatt hours for local heating, while the amount of gas consumed can also be expressed in cubic meters.
In the case of the heating of an apartment building provided by the housing association which uses electricity or gas, compensation can also be requested, providing the consumption of the housing association. In this case, the minimum subsidy is € 10 and the maximum is € 500 per case and per month.
Electronic self-service was the preferred method of claiming compensation, Beškina added, keeping in mind both the current low temperatures, the coronavirus pandemic and the fact that in practice many of those who apply are likely seniors or others at risk. groups.
Help from younger parents or other caregivers would be welcome in this case, Beškina added.
This system is not yet live, but will be, in time for the start of payments, in mid-January, although in-person applications through the Tallinn District Social Service are also possible, according to the office of the city.
The maximum number of months that can be covered at a time is four, so to avoid red tape, it is possible to request reimbursement for several months at a time, if the applicant can afford it, according to the city government. .
In October of this year, the reformist / central national government chose to compensate low-income families to mitigate rising energy prices.
The compensation in this case will be covered by the income that Estonia will receive from trading in the European Union’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), and is expected to amount to 37 million euros nationwide.
The government has entrusted the task of distributing the compensation among the local municipalities.