Businesses are being urged to claim for State help with energy bills as new figures show there has been a low take-up so far of a Government scheme.
The Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS) provides qualifying businesses with up to 40% of the increase in electricity or gas bills up to €10,000 per month or €30,000 in certain cases.
The scheme runs from last September until February and is administered by Revenue.
New figures from the Department of Finance show that while 15,275 businesses have registered for the scheme, only 9,148 have begun the claim process.
€17.49 million in claims has been approved relating to 5,793 cases, while €13.24 million has already been paid out.
Retail is the sector with the highest number of claims, followed by food businesses and accommodation.
These figures relate to claims lodged up until 25 January.
The assessment of the number of claims so far notes that there has been a "relatively lower level of uptake than would have been initially expected and budgeted for".
However, the report adds that the scheme only opened for claims in early December and it is expected that claims will increase in the coming weeks.
Minister for Finance Michael McGrath has urged businesses to continue to make claims before the first deadline expires.
"Businesses should be aware that the window for making claims in respect of September 2022 will close at the end of this month, so it's important to complete that claim in the coming days," he said.
The scheme is due to expire at the end of February and no decision has been taken yet on whether it will be extended.