All UK households will be given a £400 discount on their energy bills after the annual cost for a typical household rose to £2,500 from October.
How will the £400 energy discount be paid?
Everyone’s energy bill will be cut by £400. This will be applied over six months, with a reduction of £66 in October and November, and £67 every month between December and March 2023. Some customers may receive the money directly into their bank account.
The discount will be made automatically by energy suppliers in England, Scotland and Wales. There is no need to apply or to give an extra information.
The messages invite people to apply for the £400 discount and then instructs the recipient to follow a link to a fake website of energy regulator Ofgem. The scam encourages people to hand over personal details and set up a direct debit.
Ofgem said it was “alarming that vulnerable customers are being preyed upon” and if consumers were in any doubt they should contact their energy provider, using details on their official website.
In fact, direct debit and credit customers will have the money added to their account or automatically to their bank account. Customers with pre-payment meters will have the amount applied to their meter, or receive a voucher.
Anyone who doesn’t use mains gas and electricity – such as those using heating oil – will receive an extra £100 on top of the £400.
Who is getting other cost-of-living payments?
Two payments totalling £650 are also being made to more than eight million low-income households who receive the following benefits:
- Universal Credit
- income-based Jobseekers Allowance
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- working tax credit
- child tax credit
- pension credit
The first instalment of £326 was paid to about seven million of these people between 14 and 31 July. The payments were made automatically into bank accounts – usually marked “DWP Cost of Living”.
The 1.1 million people who only receive tax credits, rather than any of the other benefits, had to wait longer.
Their first payment was also automatic, and was paid straight into bank accounts by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) between 2 and 7 September. This was identified by the letters CL and their National Insurance number.
The second instalment of £324 will be paid between 8 and 23 November although those who qualify through tax credits will receive it a little later.
People are not eligible for these payments if they receive New Style Employment and Support Allowance, contributory Employment and Support Allowance, or New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance – unless they get Universal Credit.
Anyone who thinks they are entitled to the help but who haven’t received it should contact the office that pays their benefit or tax credits.
Those who could miss out include the 850,000 pensioner households which the government says do not claim Pension Credit, which is a gateway to these extra payments.
None of these cost-of-living payments affect the tax you pay, or the benefits or tax credits you receive.
What help are disabled people getting?
- Disability Living Allowance
- Personal Independence Payment
- Attendance Allowance
- Scottish Disability Payments
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
- Constant Attendance Allowance
- War Pension Mobility Supplement
What extra help will pensioners get?
Households that receive the Winter Fuel Payment – which is worth £200-£300 and is paid to nearly all homes with at least one person of pension age – will receive an extra £300 in November or December.
That should cover nearly all pensioners across the UK.
Lower-income pensioners who claim pension credit, will receive the money in addition to the £650 support for those on benefits.
This means a small group of pensioners with disabilities will receive a total of £1,500.
What other payments have been made?
About 80% of households should have received a £150 energy rebate, often through their council tax bill.
The payment method depended on whether you pay your council tax by direct debit and where you live in the UK.
Some people were given fuel vouchers through the Household Support Fund which is distributed by local councils.
What else is the government doing to tackle energy prices?
The government has announced an energy price guarantee, limiting a typical duel-fuel household’s annual energy bill to £2,500. It was initially designed to last for two years, but that has since been reduced to six months, ending in April.
This is not a cap on how much you will actually pay – your bill depends on how much energy you actually use.
The plan applies to all households in England, Scotland and Wales, with the “same level of support” available in Northern Ireland.
How is the extra support being funded?
The government said its energy support for households and businesses will cost £60bn for the six months. That is much less than some industry analysts predicted. And because the help will last for two years, the actual cost will be higher.
The final bill will also depend on the price energy companies have to pay producers in the coming months.
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