Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath has confirmed that electricity credits for all households totalling €600 will be paid in three instalments of €200.

Delivering Budget 2023, Mr McGrath said the first payment will be made before Christmas, with two further instalments in the New Year.

To provide further assistance with energy bills to the most vulnerable, he also said that as well as the normal weekly fuel allowance payment, a lump sum of €400 will be made before Christmas to recipients of this support.

For those in receipt of a weekly social welfare payment, a once-off double week 'Cost of Living Support' payment will be made to all qualifying social protection recipients.

This will be paid in October and will include pensioners, carers, people on disability payments and jobseekers, the Minister said.

The normal Christmas Bonus will be paid in early December, he added.

To support low income working households, an additional lump payment of €500 to those in receipt of the Working Family Payment will be paid in November.

Also in November, a double Child Benefit payment will be made to all qualifying households - this is worth €140 per child in addition to the normal monthly payment.

To acknowledge the additional costs that carers are incurring at this time, a payment of €500 will be made to those who qualify for the Carer's Support Grant in November.

A once-off payment before Christmas of €200 will also be given to recipients of the Living Alone Allowance.

Meanwhile, a once-off payment of €500 will be made to those who qualify for Disability Allowance, Invalidity Pension and the Blind Pension in November, the Minister added.

€337 million is to be made available next year go towards grants for energy efficiency, the Minister revealed.

Michael McGrath said the allocation would fund over 37,000 home energy upgrades including households in, or at risk of, energy poverty through the Warmer Homes Scheme.

"This is the highest funding ever commitment to energy efficiency," the Minister told the Dáil.

Alongside the grant supports that will be available, funding will also be provided to support the introduction of a new low-cost loan scheme for residential retrofit.

Age Action Ireland said the electricity credits announced are "a welcome recognition by the Government that many older persons are struggling with basic costs like food, energy and running a car in rural Ireland".

Sinn Féin finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty said a refusal to cap energy prices leaves people exposed to more price hikes.

Mr Doherty said Sinn Féin will table amendments including for further reductions in tax in diesel and petrol.

Energy providers have announced more than 35 price increases over the past year with a €3,000 annual hike for most families, he said.

"They can't bear it," he added.

He welcomed what he described as "U-turn" on windfall tax on energy companies from the Government.

The Donegal TD added that Sinn Féin would have stopped the "excess profits" energy companies are making and supported families by cutting costs to pre-crisis levels throughout the winter.

He said this would be a "better way" than subsidies, which he said will not stop prices rises.

The Irish Solar Energy Association (ISEA) said that Budget 2023 was a missed opportunity and failed to address the root causes of high energy costs.

ISEA CEO Conall Bolger said: "The generation of solar energy is going to be central to decarbonising our electricity supply and removing our dependence on sourcing fossil fuels from overseas.

"Ireland's target of delivering 5.5GW of solar by the end of the decade is ambitious but possible, provided we have the correct policy framework in place.

"Budget 2023 failed to make progress on creating that framework and will make reaching that target more challenging."

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar said "almost all businesses will qualify" under the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS).

He said the scheme will compare the unit price for the relevant bill period in 2022 with the unit price in same period in 2022

Responding to criticism that 40% isn't enough, Mr Varadkar said the Government "wasn't willing to write any blank cheques" and it was constrained by EU state aid rules which caps the amount of help that can be given.

The Vintners' Federation of Ireland (VFI) welcomed the introduction of a Business Energy Support Scheme, saying "the survival of many pubs is conditional on the successful and timely implementation of the scheme". However, it added that while the scheme will bring some relief, there is a tough year ahead.