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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure PT-2022-14/2438 Updated – measures in Portugal

Extraordinary and exceptional support to domestic consumers Beneficiaries of the Electricity Social Tariff in the Acquisition of Bottled Liquefied Petroleum Gas

Apoio Extraordinário e Excecional aos Consumidores Domésticos Beneficiários de Tarifa Social de Energia Elétrica na Aquisição de Gás de Petróleo Liquefeito Engarrafado

Country Portugal , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 30 March 2022 – 31 December 2023
Context War in Ukraine
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category N/A
– Support for energy bills
Author Paula Carrilho, Heloísa Perista, Ana Brázia (CESIS)
Measure added 01 June 2022 (updated 27 February 2023)

Background information

The current conflict between Russia and Ukraine has led to great instability in the energy sector, directly impacting prices and energy supply chains, and with significant repercussions on the economy and the consumers. The impact on prices mainly affects the most vulnerable consumers. Taking this into account, an extraordinary and exceptional support, of a monetary nature, with the aim of protecting these vulnerable consumers. Order 3696-D/2022 of 29 March, amended by Order 5651-B/2022 of 10 May, creates the extraordinary and exceptional support to domestic consumers.

Content of measure

This is a monetary benefit for vulnerable domestic consumers to support the purchase of bottled liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). All domestic consumers with an electricity supply contract and who do not hold a natural gas supply contract are eligible:

  1. Who are beneficiaries of the social electricity tariff;
  2. Who are not beneficiaries of the social electricity tariff, but where at least one of the household members is a beneficiary of one of the following minimum social benefits:

  3. Solidarity supplement for the elderly;

  4. Social integration income;
  5. Social invalidity pension (of the special regime of protection in invalidity);
  6. Complement of the social benefit for inclusion;
  7. Social old-age pension;
  8. Social unemployment benefit.

This support is granted until the global allocation of €4 million is exhausted, through the payment of €10 per bottle of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG for each calendar month, for a maximum period of three months. The period for payment of the support goes from 30 March to 30 June 2022. The payment is made in cash upon presentation of the documentation, invoice/receipt dated after 1 April, proving the purchase of the gas bottle, and following confirmation of eligibility.


The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

01 February 2023

In February 2023, the Portuguese Government announced an addition to the protocol that establishes the support for the purchase of bottled liquefied petroleum gas. Thus, this mechanism will be in force during 2023 or until the sum provided for this purpose, which amounts to €3 million, is exhausted.

01 September 2022

As the war in Ukraine and the instability in the energy sector continue, the Portuguese Government deems important to maintain the support to the most vulnerable consumers. Therefore, Order 12230/2022 of 19 October approves the Regulations for the 2nd Phase of Extraordinary and Exceptional Support to Domestic Consumers who benefit from the Electricity Social Tariff or Minimum Social Benefits in the purchase of bottled liquefied petroleum gas, provided for in nº. 5 of Order 11334-A/2022 of 21 September. This 2nd Phase of Support foresees:

  • The definition of a maximum overall allocation of €2,000,000.
  • The support is made operational and financially supported by the Environmental Fund, in articulation with the National Association of Parishes (Associação Nacional de Freguesias - ANAFRE) and will be paid in the parish and parish unions councils.
  • The support is paid for a period of four months, between 1 September and 31 December 2022 (or until the budget is exhausted).
  • Each beneficiary will be allowed to receive €10 per month.

These amendments have an effect from 1 September 2022.

Use of measure

According to the Diário de Notícias on 18 August 2022, during the three months of the implementation of the programme (April, May and June), support reached, on average, 8,000 households per month (7,512 in April; 9,518, in May; and 8,512 in June). The objective was to reach more than 800,000 beneficiaries of the social electricity tariff.

The total amount spent by the Government on this measure reached only 6.3% of the total amount of €4 million that had been made available for the programme, that is, around €255,420, which corresponds to 25,542 bottles of gas.

Lack of disclosure of the measure and bureaucracy are factors that may explain the poor adherence to this measure.

The managing entity of the Environmental Fund (Fundo Ambiental) produces a final report with the results, which must include the amounts financed, as well as the number of beneficiaries and their geographical distribution. Until the moment, no report was made available.

According to the newspaper Jornal de Negócios dated of 22 December 2022, between 1 September and 20 December 2022, 12,377 supports for the purchase of bottled gas were paid in the total amount of €123,770. The new phase of this support programme was about to end and the assessment made by the Government shows that this measure continues with low adhesion, having been used only 6% of the available sum. The sum foreseen for this support measure should cover more than 800,000 beneficiaries of the electric social tariff as well as of the minimum social benefits. According to Government data, the numbers of the second phase of support are lower than the results achieved in the first phase of the programme.

The parish councils were designated as points of contact for consumers to apply for and receive the support. The Consumers Association DECO – Defesa do Consumidor informed (on February 2023) having received complaints and requests for clarification by the consumers, referring that some of these parish councils apparently were not informed of the existence of this measure. According to consumers who tried unsuccessfully to access the support, some parish councils said they were unaware of the Government's measure. Others said they were not "adherents", although the participation of parish councils in the measure was not optional.

In the second phase, which had a budget allocation of €2 million, only 12.2% of the available amount was distributed. According to data released by the Ministry for the Environment and Climate Action, between 9 November and 31 December 2022, the period in which the platform that manages this support started operating, the 1,590 adherent parish councils distributed supports in the amount of €243,830.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Does not apply to businesses People on social benefits

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Local / regional government
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement No involvement
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: N/A


This measure does not include the involvement of social partners in designing, implementing and monitoring.

Views and reactions

No reactions or views were found regarding social partners.



Eurofound (2022), Extraordinary and exceptional support to domestic consumers Beneficiaries of the Electricity Social Tariff in the Acquisition of Bottled Liquefied Petroleum Gas, measure PT-2022-14/2438 (measures in Portugal), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.