Details of £400 energy payment for households revealed – for England, Scotland and Wales only
The UK Government has published new details setting out how all households in England, Scotland and Wales will receive the £400 cost of living energy payment, announced by then Chancellor Rishi Sunak earlier this year.
No details have yet been made available as to how the payments will be made in Northern Ireland, although the UK Government has confirmed it is working urgently on this.
The £400 payment, which is non-repayable, is part of the Government’s Energy Bill Support Scheme and is designed to support households feeling the pressure of rising energy costs.
How will the payment be made in England, Scotland and Wales?
It will be paid to households in England, Scotland and Wales in six instalments between October 2022 and March 2023. The instalments will be £66 in October and November, then £67 a month from December to March 2023.
How households will receive the money depends on how they pay their electricity bill:
- If you pay your bill by direct debit: you will receive the discount automatically as a deduction to your monthly Direct Debit amount collected, or as a refund to your bank account following Direct Debit collection during each relevant month.
- If you are a standard credit customer or payment card customer: you will see the discount automatically applied as a credit to your account in the first week of each relevant month.
- If you have a smart prepayment meter: You will receive the discount credited directly to your smart prepayment meter in each relevant month.
- If you have a traditional prepayment meter: you will be provided with a discount voucher in the first week of each relevant month, issued via SMS text, email or post. You will need to redeem these at your usual top-up point, such as the Post Office.
Households that use a traditional prepayment meter are being urged to check their post, email or text messages carefully each relevant month, to ensure that they do not miss out on their discount vouchers.
The Government is also reminding everyone that they will not be asked for their bank details at any point, to receive their payment. Households should be vigilant for potential scams that request bank details.
The announcement from the Government also includes information for students or tenants renting properties where energy costs are included in their rental charges.
What about households in Northern Ireland?
The situation in Northern Ireland is complicated both because it is a separately regulated energy market, and due to ongoing political instability which means there is currently no functioning Executive.
In the announcement setting out the details above, the UK Government noted that it is urgently working to ensure households in Northern Ireland receive the equivalent of this support as soon as possible. Similarly, Stormont Finance Minister Conor Murphy has confirmed that he is working with the Treasury on how and when households in Northern Ireland will receive this support.
The cost of living crisis and rising energy costs are putting huge pressure on households in Northern Ireland, just as across other parts of the UK. It is critical that this issue is prioritised, and that this payment is not delayed, particularly as it is due to roll out over the colder months of the autumn and winter, when families are likely to be using more energy. Political instability should not be allowed to get in the way of delivering this much needed support to families.
Further information is available on the gov.uk website. To make sure your family is claiming all the financial support you are entitled to, contact the Family Benefits Advice Service for a free, personalised ‘better off’ calculation. Freephone 0800 028 3008 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.