Millions of households across Great Britain will receive non-repayable discounts on their energy bills this winter, as the UK Government today has set out further details of the Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS).
The £400 discount, administered by energy suppliers, will be paid to consumers over six months with payments starting from October 2022, to ensure households receive financial support throughout the winter months.
The Government has stressed that in all cases, no household should be asked for bank details at any point. Ministers are urging consumers to stay alert of potential scams and report these to the relevant authorities where they are suspected.
A spokesperson for the End Fuel Poverty Coalition commented:
The details of the Energy Bills Support Scheme are broadly welcome.The officials involved in the development of the scheme have done a good job in listening to the concerns of End Fuel Poverty Coalition members and have taken steps to ensure that every household will be able to benefit.While there are a few outstanding concerns, we are pleased that BEIS has agreed to work with our members to address these.The bigger issue, however, is that the level of support available will not be enough to offset the rises in energy bills expected in October and Ministers will need to instruct officials to expand the funding for the scheme.
The Government has issued detailed information for people on how the scheme will work, based on the current proposed £400 discount:
- The £400 discount will be administered by suppliers and paid to consumers over six months with payments starting from October 2022, to ensure households receive financial support over the winter months.
- Households will see a discount of £66 applied to their energy bills in October and November, rising to £67 each month from December through to March 2023.
- The discount will be provided on a monthly basis regardless of whether consumers pay monthly, quarterly or have an associated payment card.
- Households will never be asked for their bank details, and those with a domestic electricity connection will not need to apply.
- There is no need to contact your supplier as all domestic electricity customers will be automatically eligible. Electricity bill payers should enquire with their supplier if they have not received their first instalment by the end of October.
Breakdown of the delivery process for each payment method:
- Direct Debit customers will receive the discount automatically as a reduction to the monthly Direct Debit amount collected, or as a refund to the customer’s bank account following Direct Debit collection during each month of delivery.
- Standard credit customers and payment card customers will see the discount automatically applied as a credit to standard credit customers’ accounts in the first week of each month of delivery, with the credit appearing as it would if the customer had made a payment.
- Smart prepayment meter customers will see the discount credited directly to their smart prepayment meters in the first week of each month of delivery.
- Traditional prepayment meter customers will be provided with redeemable vouchers or Special Action Messages (SAMs) in the first week of each month, issued via SMS text, email or post. Customers will need to take action to redeem these at their usual top-up point.
- Landlords who have a domestic electricity contract with a licensed electricity supplier and then resell the electricity to their tenants based on energy usage must comply with the maximum resale price rules. The maximum resale price for electricity is currently set as the same price as that paid by the person reselling it. Under these circumstances, the Government expects landlords to pass on the discount received to each tenant.
- Landlords with a domestic electricity connection who charge ‘all inclusive’ rent, often the case for many student houses, where a fixed cost for energy costs are included in their rental charges, must pass on the discounted payments to tenants.
- Approximately one per cent of UK households are currently ineligible to receive Energy Bills discount as they do not have a domestic electricity meter and a direct relationship with an electricity supplier. The government has confirmed that further funding will be available to provide equivalent support of £400 for energy bills for the 1% of households who will not be reached through the Energy Bills discount. An announcement with details on how and when these households across Great Britain can access this support will be made this Autumn.
The Energy Bills Support Scheme forms part of the Government’s £37 million Cost of Living Support package, providing Help for Households with rising prices, targeted at those most in need.