More Northern Ireland households now eligible for energy support payments
In early 2022 the UK Government announced a range of measures to support households across the UK with the rising cost of energy. Alongside a temporary cap on the price that can be charged per unit of electricity and gas, these measures included a payment of £400 to every household to help with increased energy bills, and an additional £100 – later increased to £200 in Northern Ireland – for those customers not served by the gas grid. These two payments totalled £600 for households in Northern Ireland.
However, there were a significant number of households who did not receive this payment automatically, for example if you pay for energy through a landlord, housing manager or site owner or if you live in a park home, houseboat or off the electricity grid.
For those households who, due to the way they pay for their electricity, were not eligible to receive the payment automatically, an online application portal is now open at www.gov.uk/apply-energy-bill-support-northern-ireland-if-not-automatic. Through this portal you can check eligibility and apply online.
What households are eligible for this alternative payment?
You can apply if you pay for the energy your household uses, you’re applying for your main, permanent home, you have a fixed address in Northern Ireland and if your main home is:
- in a residential park home
- on a boat on a permanent residential mooring
- on a permanent Gypsy and Traveller site
- part of a heat network without an electricity meter
- in social or private rented accommodation which has a business energy connection or a communal electricity supply
- off the mains electricity or gas grid
- in a care home or assisted living facility and you pay for some or all of your care (directly or through loss of pension or other benefits)
- in a non-domestic property which is used as a home (such as a farm or a separate flat above a shop).
What you will need to complete the application
You will need:
- an email address and phone number (if you have one)
- your bank account details (a UK current account in your name)
- proof of address (such as a utility bill or bank statement from the last 3 months).
In addition, if you rent your home, you’ll need to upload photo ID or, if you are not registered for rates, you will need to upload a tenancy agreement or rates exemption certificate as part of your application.
Those applicants who live in a care home will need to upload either:
- an invoice for your care home fees from the past 3 months; or
- an official document from the care home including your name and address, a funding statement and the name and address of the care home
If you are unable to apply online you can contact the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Northern Ireland customer support team on 0808 175 3894. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.
What happens next?
After you apply, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) will check that you live at the address you have applied for and will tell you about the progress of your application by email or letter. You should get a response within 6 weeks. If you’re eligible, you will get a one-off payment of £600, you do not need to repay this money.
Please be aware that if you receive any calls, letters, texts or emails regarding the Alternative Funding for Energy Support Payments that are requesting your bank details or other information you have already supplied through the application process this is likely to be a scam. If you have any doubts or concerns contact the BEIS Northern Ireland customer support team on 0808 175 3894.
For background information on the help with energy bills announced by the UK Government you can read our previous article, there is a press release produced by the Government, and information available on the NI Direct 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 email@example.com.