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€100 electricity payment approved by Cabinet

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Every home in the country will receive €100 off their electricity bill in early 2022, a measure which was approved by Cabinet today (Tuesday).

The payment is one of a suite of measures to mitigate the effects of the unprecedented rise in electricity prices.

A €210m scheme was approved with approximately 2.1 million domestic electricity account holders set to benefit in the one-off, exceptional payment to their electricity accounts.

However, primary and secondary legislation will be required to underpin the scheme.

The new scheme to be known as the Electricity Costs Emergency Benefit Scheme following the passage of primary legislation through the Oireachtas in the New Year.

The scheme will be operated by ESB Networks who will make payments to the individual energy suppliers and the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (CRU) will be charged with oversight of the scheme.

All domestic accounts, including Pay as You Go customers, will receive the credit. How the payment will be applied is currently being finalised and will be announced in the New Year. However, it will be automatic and will apply to all customers and people will not need to apply for it.

“The Government is very conscious that international energy prices are having a significant effect on utility bills," Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan TD, said.

"While we took measures in the Budget to support vulnerable groups, this credit is designed to provide all householders with a contribution to their electricity bills in the spring of 2022. In the long term, the way to reduce our dependence on internationally traded fossil fuels is to expand our own indigenous supply of renewable power. We are working towards having up to 80% of our electricity from renewables by 2030.”

The most immediate factor affecting electricity prices in Ireland is the upward trend in international gas prices. In Europe, wholesale natural gas prices have been on an upward curve since the second half of 2020. This feeds directly through to retail electricity prices, as the wholesale price of electricity correlates strongly with the price of gas.

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Try a universal contour wrap

It’s that time of the year again – New Year’s resolutions and plans to get the health and fitness levels in check. Which in turn always improves mood, energy levels and that fabulous just-worked-out glow to your skin, which is super anti-ageing. It even helps in collagen and elastin production. As we age and the […]

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It’s that time of the year again – New Year’s resolutions and plans to get the health and fitness levels in check.

Which in turn always improves mood, energy levels and that fabulous just-worked-out glow to your skin, which is super anti-ageing. It even helps in collagen and elastin production. As we age and the body slows down, so does cell growth. It’s a proven fact that movement increasing circulation and improves skin age and glow….

Even if it’s just a 30-minute walk, it will get the blood flowing and the skin glowing.

If you need a little motivation, a push in the right direction, or if you have been losing weight steady for a little while, this exercise wrap is the thing for you.

Suitable for both male and female, it will help to tighten skin, even out its appearance, and detox the body which helps you to lose weight, especially when combined with a healthy food plan. It’s massively motivating to plan the week’s food and choose healthy options where possible when you feel accountable to someone else.

One body wrap is great, but a course of three body wraps is amazing. We recommend doing one a week for three weeks, while following a low-calorie healthy food plan (no skipping meals).

Sea clay will be applied to your skin, and bandages wrapped on in a specific technique to lift and tighten the skin. Electrodes are applied, giving a light pulsing to the core and thighs, and finally you are tucked up into a heated blanket.

You will feel amazing after all that! An Indian head massage or facial can also be added to the treatment.

Here’s the science bit – Key ingredients of sea clay: Bentonie has excellent draining properties for full body detox, skin clarification and purification; Magnesium Sulphate stimulates peripheral skin circulation, exfoliating and anti-inflammatory; Magnesium Chloride is a valuable mineral salt that permits cellular balance, combats stress and fluid retention, anti-bacterial properties; Zinc Oxide has bacterium properties and anti–inflammatory agents; and Sodium Chloride detoxifies tissues and tightens the skin.
To make an appointment or for more information call Jill on 064-6632966

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Important date reminders about CAO applications

The normal closing date for CAO applications is on February 1 at 5pm, so it is really important that any students applying from Leaving Certificate, Further Education or as Mature Applicants are clear on the deadlines and application process. Before you start make sure to look at the CAO handbook which is available as in […]

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The normal closing date for CAO applications is on February 1 at 5pm, so it is really important that any students applying from Leaving Certificate, Further Education or as Mature Applicants are clear on the deadlines and application process.

Before you start make sure to look at the CAO handbook which is available as in interactive flipbook or to download from www.cao.ie, which also has a lot of resources to help applicants and parents.

To register, log on to www.cao.ie and click on Apply, it will ask you first to input your personal and contact details along with the category of applicant you are. Once you create a password and submit payment you receive you CAO number which means you are registered. It is advisable to go through the Demo Version of the CAO form first which is available on their website in the ‘Student Resources’ section.

Applicants who register before January 20 at 5pm will be charged the discounted application fee of €30, which increases to €45 up to February 1. Once you have registered you have until February 1st to add and change your courses, free of charge. On May 5, the Change of Mind facility will open and you will have the change to change your courses, with certain restrictions, up to July 1 at 5pm.

Course choices

You have the option of filling in 20 courses in total – 10 choices on level 8 (Honours Bachelor Degrees) and 10 on level 7/6 (Ordinary Bachelor Degrees / Higher Certificates) and it is advisable to fill as many as you can to give yourself the best chance of being offered a place on a course you like.

It is essential though that you research carefully all the courses you are going to include. Often students are careful about their first couple of choices but don’t research the courses that are further down the list well enough. Don’t make this mistake. Every course you put down should be one that you are genuinely interested in and willing to do so consider all options carefully. The majority of level 7/6 courses have progression routes onto level 8.

Order of Preference

This is the golden rule of the CAO and a very common mistake made by students every year. Always put down your courses in order of preference, not in the order of the points from the previous year. Points for courses change each year and you will not know the points for 2022 until the day that the Round 1 offers are issued by CAO, which is usually a couple of days after the Leaving Cert results come out. Also you don’t know what points you are going to get until those results come out and it will be too late to make changes to your CAO application at that stage.

Restrictions for the February 1 deadline

While you will get the opportunity to change your course choices later in the year, there are certain restrictions to take note of regarding the February 1st deadline. If you are applying for ‘restricted courses’ they must be added in by February 1as they require some other form of assessment apart from Leaving Cert points such as an aptitude test or a portfolio.

Such assessments are usually carried out between February & April. Students who are applying for Medicine must apply to do the HPAT by January 21 on https://hpat-ireland.acer.org/.

Any students applying for the HEAR (Higher Education Access Route) or DARE (Disability Access Route to Education) schemes must have applied to CAO by February 1.

You then have until March the 1st to complete those applications and up to March 15 to have supporting documentation sent to CAO (see www.accesscollege.ie). In the case of mature applicants, most HEIs (Higher Education Institutions) require applications to be in by the February 1 deadline.

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, and Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors. She is also a Career Consultant – For details see www.mycareerplan.ie or email info@mycareerplan.ie

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