Earlier this year the Government announced a £63 billion support package in the form of the Energy Bill Rebate:
- Between October 2022 and March 2023 all households received the Energy Bills Support Scheme of £400. This discount was paid over six months, starting from October and was applied automatically. You can find out more about this scheme at this link: Getting the Energy Bills Support Scheme discount - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
- In 2022 eligible people on income-related Employment & Support Allowance (ESA), Income Support, Pension Credit, Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit, Universal Credit and Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) received a £650 cost of living payment. The first tranche of £326 was paid in July, unless you receive tax credits in which case you were paid in September, and the second tranche of £324 was paid from the 8th November. This was paid automatically and you can find out more about this scheme at this link: Cost of Living Payment - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
- In 2023 there will be a further £900 Cost of Living Payment to be paid in three distinct payments to eligible households receiving certain means tested benefits. Payment 1 (£301) was paid in Spring 2023, Payment 2 (£300) was paid in Autumn 2023, and Payment 3 (£299) will be paid in Spring 2024. You can find out more about this scheme here: First 2023/24 Cost of Living Payment dates announced - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
- In 2022 all qualifying pensioner households received the one-off Pensioner Cost of Living Payment of up to £300 as a top-up to their annual Winter Fuel Payment in November/December. Find out more about this scheme here: Cost of Living Payment - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
- In 2023 there will be a further £300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment which will be paid automatically to all households in receipt of Winter Fuel Payment in the same way as last year in Winter 2023.
- Last year, there was a £150 Council Tax rebate if you live in council tax bands A-D. This has been paid automatically and you will not need to pay this back. You can find out more about this scheme here: Council tax rebate: factsheet - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). For householders not living in properties banded A-D there is a discretionary fund totalling £144mn which is operated by local councils to provide support in cases of hardship. This rebate was available to approximately 80% of all households.
- In 2022 there was a £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment made to those on the Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, Attendance Allowance, Scottish Disability Benefits, Armed Forces Independence Payment, Constant Attendance Allowance, War Pension Mobility Supplement. You can find out more about this scheme here: Cost of Living Payment - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
- In 2023 there has been a further payment of £150 between the 20th June and the 4th July paid in the same way as last year's payment. This will mean that more than 6 million people will receive £150 this Summer to help with the cost of living.
Last year all households received a minimum of £400, 80% of households received £550, and many other households (depending on their circumstances) received higher payments as set out above.
This year the focus will be on supporting the most vulnerable (as set out above) including those on means tested benefits, those with disabilities, and pensioners.
Commenting on this year's payments Richard said that "I am pleased that this support is once again being made available to the most vulnerable with approximately 8,700 receiving the Cost of Living Payment in my constituency while 8,400 receive the Disability Cost of Living Payment."
How Energy Companies Can Help
The regulator, Ofgem, mandates that energy suppliers have to help you. Talk to your supplier as early as possible, many of them are providing a variety of support to help pay bills.
Building on existing industry schemes like the Warm Home Discount and Energy Company Obligation and increasing the help already provided through payment holidays, amended repayment plans and emergency credit, suppliers are also expanding customer support teams; providing extra training to frontline staff to help callers; working closely with partner charities and consumer groups; and increasing their own support funds and grant schemes - as well as those run by partner charities.