The first of three €200 electricity credits will appear on residential bills from tomorrow.

The Government has said more than 2.2 million accounts will benefit from the initiative.

The series of electricity credits is a Government plan designed to cushion the blow of rising energy prices.

From the start of November and into December, the first energy credit will appear on customers' bills, however the actual date is dependent on a household's electricity supplier and billing cycle.

The credit line on the bill will say €183.49, which amounts is €200 when VAT is taken into account.

Minister for the Environment Eamon Ryan said the credit will apply automatically and include both bill pay and pay-as-you-go customers.

The second and third payments will be paid in January/February and March/April.

Mr Ryan said the Government is acutely aware of the difficulties people are facing this winter and contended that this type of financial support is both necessary and helpful.

However, Opposition parties have argued the Government is not doing enough, with Sinn Féin calling for the introduction of an energy cap to better protect hard-pressed customers.