To help offset rising fuel costs this autumn, the government announced that all households in England, Scotland and Wales will be eligible for £400.
The Energy Bill Support Scheme will pay the money in six instalments. In October and November, households will receive a £66 discount on their energy bills. From December to March 2023, £67 will be applied to their monthly energy bills.
However, how much money you pay will determine how it is received.
How can I get the money?
Customers who pay by direct debit either monthly or quarterly will receive an automatic deduction from their bills.
People with smart prepayment devices will receive an automatic monthly top-up to their accounts. This means that they will need to add less credit to their meter to cover the energy they use.
However, those who have older prepayment devices that are not smart will not automatically be eligible for this money.
Instead, customers will be sent a discount coupon for their energy bills in the mail, by email, text or email. These vouchers will need to be redeemed in person at the customer’s usual top-up point such as a Post Office.
Kwasi Kwarteng, Business Secretary, stated that while no government can control global gas prices, there is a responsibility to intervene where necessary. “This significant £400 discount we are offering on energy bills will help millions of families in the colder months.”
According to Ofgem, more than 4 million British households have prepayment meters. Only 1.9 million meters are smart devices, which allow payments to be made quickly.
Charities are concerned about the difficulty of accessing energy assistance for more than 2 million households that have traditional prepayment devices, which are often the poorest and most vulnerable in society.
Suppliers often install pre-payment meters in homes that are in debt. However, some people might opt to have a meter installed to help with their budget.
To ensure that tenants don’t leave their rental property without paying their energy bills, landlords install them often.
Who receives the £400 energy payment?
The £400 payment will be applied directly to households in England, Wales and Scotland.
Stormont ministers are still being consulted by the Treasury about making the payment to Northern Ireland households.
Northern Ireland has its own energy market. This is complicated further by the fact that NI’s power-sharing government isn’t fully operational and can not make new spending decisions.
No matter what income you have or how big your house is, all households are eligible to receive the full £400.
“This is only one part of a larger package of measures. There are many people, who aren’t on means-tested benefits, or at the top of the benefit scale, who are still struggling with high bills. We thought this was the best and fairest way to distribute the money,” stated Lord Callanan (Minister for Business and Energy).
To protect against fraud, the government hopes that all households will join the scheme.
This will take a lot of effort to make sure that the vouchers are available to those who really need them.
Matt Copeland, NEA, advised that if you have a prepayment meter lookout for a mail from your supplier. It might contain hundreds of pounds of vouchers.”
“And let anyone you know who has a prepayment meter know that it will be coming this winter to keep them warm.”
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