How and when will I get the £400 energy bills discount?
- Credit: PA
Amid rising energy bills, millions of people across the UK are due to see £400 taken off their energy bills this winter.
The price of food and fuel has risen significantly and some households have been left questioning how to pay rising bills.
The government has introduced the Energy Bills Support Scheme to help people meet the challenge of the cost of living crisis.
Here's everything you need to know.
How will the £400 discount be paid?
Households will start receiving money off their energy bills from October, with the discount made in six installments.
A discount of £66 will be applied to energy bills in October and November, rising to £67 each month from December through to March 2023.
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Do I need to apply?
Energy suppliers will administer the discount.
Those with a domestic electricity meter point paying for their energy via standard credit, payment card and direct debit will receive an automatic deduction to their bills.
Traditional prepayment meter customers will be provided with energy bill discount vouchers in the first week of each month, issued via text message, email or post, using the customer’s registered contact details.
These customers will need to take action to redeem these at their usual top-up point, such as their nearest local PayPoint or post office branch.
Smart prepayment meter customers will see the energy bill discount credited directly to their smart prepayment meters in the first week of each month of delivery.
Suppliers will be expected to report to government the action they are taking to ensure the support has been passed on to consumers, including notifying customers in writing they have received the £400 energy bill discount and ensuring it is clearly shown on bills or statements.
Do I need to give my bank details?
No. It is important to keep in mind that scammers may use this as an opportunity to strike – just as they did when financial support was announced early on in the coronavirus pandemic.
It prompted a slew of fake rebate emails and texts purporting to be from official bodies.
The government confirmed no household should be asked for bank details at any point.
Ministers are urging consumers to stay alert of potential scams and report them to the authorities.
Will I need to pay the money back?
The £400 is non-repayable and will not be required to be paid back.
What other support is available?
Other government support includes a £650 one-off cost-of-living payment for about eight million households on means-tested benefits.
A £300 one-off pensioner cost-of-living payment for over eight million pensioner households to be paid alongside the winter fuel payment; and a £150 one-off disability cost-of-living payment for around six million people across the UK who receive certain disability benefits.
People who are struggling with their energy bills have been urged to contact their supplier.
Ofgem rules mean suppliers must offer payment plans people can afford and customers can ask for “emergency credit” if they use a prepay meter and cannot top up.