Measures to give electricity users a €200 credit on their bills has been signed into law and it is expected that people will start receiving the discount from next month.

The €200 credit, designed to soften the blow of rising energy costs, will be listed on people's bills as a €176.22 credit line - but the full discount will be €200 when VAT is factored in.

It will start appearing on bills from April though it could be May or June before some people receive it, depending on their billing cycle.

Most customers on prepay meters will get the credit in full from next month.

However, those who currently have older prepayment meters will need to redeem the credit in three separate transactions over the space of a few days.

Landlords whose tenants do not have an electricity account are expected to pass the discount and the Residential Tenancies Board could mediate or adjudicate in cases of disputes.

The credit should be issued automatically without customers having to apply for it.