Tallinn residents have until June 12 to apply for subsidies to cover energy expenses incurred between September 2021 and the end of April 2022.
Since the Tallinn Social Welfare and Health Care Department began accepting applications on January 17, over 36,770 have been received.
Deputy mayor Betina Beškina said, "Against the backdrop of increasing prices, the energy subsidy is a great help for many families. As of May 30, more than 28,800 people or families in Tallinn have been granted energy subsidies. A total of € 4,051,000 has been paid out, at an average of €129.5 per application. There are currently 1,242 applications being processed and we expect to receive subsidy claims right up until the last day."
According to Beškina, the main reason applications failed to meet the criteria and received rejections was due to the applicant's income being above the minimum threshold.
"But there have also been cases where the amount of the subsidy was too small and not payable. Therefore, we recommend applying for the total amount of energy subsidies due over several months so that the subsidy is at least €10, as no amount will be granted below this," said Beškina.
The maximum subsidy amount in a single month, which includes all energy bills (electricity, gas and district heating), is €500.
The Tallinn Social Welfare and Health Care Department's energy subsidy helpline began operating on January 3, and had received over 7,700 calls by the end of May. While almost half the total number of calls (3,741) were made during January, caller numbers remain high. Betina Beškina said, "This shows that opening the helpline was the right step and that many people were able to get help quickly and conveniently. Among the callers were representatives of the housing association, helpful family members, neighbours and others. The number of callers was particularly high among the elderly, who find it more difficult to use the internet, and for whom the helpline was a real necessity."
However, from June 1, the helpline number 600 6300 will no longer be in operation, with those in need now required to contact their local district government.
The energy subsidy provides support for low- and middle-income families, affected by the rise in energy prices, partially compensating for electricity, gas and district heating costs.
To qualify for the subsidy, the average monthly income of an individual or family during the relevant period is €1,126 for the first or only member of the family, €563 for each person aged 14 or over, and €338 for each person under 14.
Editor: Michael Cole