Millions of households across the UK will receive non-repayable discounts of £400 to help with rising fuel bills this autumn.
Households will see a discount of £66, administrated by energy suppliers, applied to their energy bills in October and November, and £67 from December to March 2023. This discount will be provided on a monthly basis, regardless of whether consumers pay monthly, quarterly or an associated payment card. This means that if your housing circumstances change during the period, for example those moving homes, they will still benefit from the relevant portion of the total £400.
This applies to students and other tenants renting properties with domestic electricity contracts from landlords where fixed energy costs are included in their rent. As per Ofgem rules, landlords should pass the discounts on appropriately.
Customers who pay their energy bills via direct debit or card will receive an automatic deduction to their bills over the 6 month period. Households using smart prepayment devices will see an automatic monthly top-up added to their account instead.
Those with more traditional prepayment meter customers will instead be provided with energy bill discount vouchers in the first week of each month using their registered contact details. Customers will then have to redeem these in person at their usual top-up point.
In all cases, no household will be asked for bank details. Ministers are urging customers to stay alert of potential scams and report to the relevant authorities.
Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said:
" People across the country are understandably worried about the global rise in energy costs, and the pressure this is placing on everyday bills."
"While no government can control global gas prices, we have a responsibility to step in where we can and this significant £400 discount on energy bills we’re providing will go some way to help millions of families over the colder months."
The Energy Bills Support Scheme forms part of the government's £37 million Cost of Living Support package, providing help with rising prices.
This package includes:
a £650 one-off Cost of Living Payment for people on means tested benefits
a £300 one-off Pensioner Cost of Living Payment for pensioner households to be paid alongside the Winter Fuel Payment
a £150 one-off Disability Cost of Living Payment for people across the UK who receive certain disability benefits
a £500 million increase and extension of the Household Support Fund available to councils to support vulnerable households with the cost of essentials such as food, utilities and clothing