Cost of living: Who gets the £400 energy discount and winter fuel payment?

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The UK Government announced earlier this year that households will get a £400 cut on their energy bills this winter as part of the effort to tackle soaring bills as the cost crisis of life bites.

The policy was announced by former Chancellor-turned-Tory leadership candidate Rishi Sunak, along with other measures including a £650 one-off payment for around eight million households on means-tested benefits; a one-time payment of £300 to over eight million pensioner households to be paid alongside their winter fuel payment; and a one-off payment of £150 for around six million people across the UK who receive certain disability benefits.

Mr Sunak has promised further grants if chosen to succeed Boris Johnson as leader, but favorite Liz Truss may have other ideas, although current chancellor Nadhim Zahawi has reportedly told officials Treasury to prepare to issue new checks now that Ofgem’s energy price cap is set to rise in October and again in January, initially to £3,600 and then to £4,200.

What is becoming increasingly clear is that action is needed to avert a miserable winter for millions of households, as record inflation drives up the prices of consumer goods and fuel while wages stagnate.

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s calls for emergency intervention have so far gone unanswered and his successor as Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer has set out his own vision for tackling the crisis, but until Nothing more has now been done by a rudderless Conservative government. , which will not have a new leader in place until September 6.

Here’s a look at how people will get the discount they’ve been promised.

How will the £400 rebate be paid?

Households will start receiving money on their energy bills from October, with the reduction being made in six installments.

A reduction of £66 will be applied to energy bills in October and November, rising to £67 each month from December to March 2023.

How will I get the discount?

It will be administered by the energy suppliers. Those with a domestic electricity meter point paying for their energy by standard credit, debit card and direct debit will receive an automatic deduction from their bills.

Traditional prepayment meter customers will receive vouchers on their energy bill the first week of each month, issued by SMS, email or post, using the customer’s registered details. These customers will need to arrange to redeem them at their usual charging point, such as their nearest PayPoint or Post Office branch.

Prepayment smart meter customers will have the rebate on their energy bill credited directly to their prepayment smart meters during the first week of each delivery month.

Suppliers will need to report to the government on the steps they are taking to ensure support has been passed on to consumers, including telling customers in writing that they have received the £400 energy bill rebate and ensuring that it is clearly indicated on invoices or statements.

Do I have to give my bank details?

No. It’s important to keep in mind that scammers can use this as an opportunity to strike – just as they did when the financial support was announced at the start of the coronavirus pandemic and it caused a throng bogus e-mails and text messages pretending to be from official bodies.

The government says no household should be asked to provide their bank details at any time. Ministers urge consumers to remain alert to potential scams and report them to the authorities.

Fraudulent texts, for example, can be reported to 7726 and Ofcom has information on how to do this here.

Will I need to refund the money?

No, it is not refundable.

People struggling with their energy bills should contact their supplier. Ofgem’s rules mean providers must offer payment plans people can afford and customers can apply for “emergency credit” if they use a prepaid meter and cannot top up.

You can find more information about this and the schemes, grants and benefits available here.


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