LAST week, the government announced EVERY household in the UK will get a £400 discount on their energy bills, but some people could miss out.
Thousands of people fall through the cracks of the rebate scheme and it could be down to how they pay their rent or where their home is based.
Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced the help last Thursday, as part of a bumper package of support designed to aid Brits with the spiralling cost of living crisis.
And energy bills are only set to go up more in just months, adding further strain to household finances.
Ofgem has warned that bills could hit £2,800 in October, as plenty of other costs soar too.
So the money off will help some households from having to make the choice between heating and eating in the harshest months of the year.
It’s replacing the original £200-off that was planned for October this year.
But that help was designed to be paid back, in £40 instalments over the next few years.
As cost of living pressures mounted, Mr Sunak made the decision to instead double the payment while announcing it WON’T have to be paid back this time round.
Just not everyone will get it though.
If you don’t pay your energy bills directly or you live on a site where the utility is already provided, for example, you won’t get the money-off straight away.
For everyone who IS eligible the £400 payment will be delivered via your energy supplier.
Direct debit and credit customers will see their money credited to their account.
While customers with pre-payment meters will have the money added to their meter, or they will receive a voucher.
It means anyone with a second home could find they benefit MULTIPLE times from the scheme, as eligible households will get the discount applied automatically.
Plenty have been urged to donate their excess to charity though.
Meanwhile, here’s everyone who WON’T get the money-off automatically.
Who WON’T get the £400 energy bill discount automatically
Renters who pay “all-in”
The government has said that it recognises that there are certain situations where a third party will be responsible for the bill.
It could be that your landlord is actually in charge of making the direct payments every month and is therefore named on the bill.
You instead might pay an “all-in” fee that includes your rent AND utilities like water, energy or even WIFI.
The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy says that in these situations, any charges should then be passed onto you.
If could mean your landlord cuts some of the price that month, given they’ve got the money-off, but this could vary at their own discretion.
For now the department has said that it is exploring the issue of exactly what and how the discount can be passed on as it “develops the policy and gathers more evidence through the consultation.”
Park Home tenants
You also might pay a “pitch” charge if you live in a park home.
A pitch fee is what you pay to the site owner by a park homeowner for the use of the site.
Normally it lets you use the facilities like onsite bathrooms, or rig up to generators provided.
Costs can vary from site to site and by individual pitches.
But the same idea applies, you won’t see the money-off from the government yourself, but your site manager could lower what you pay that month.
The government has said it is also investigating how the discount could be passed on in this situation.
What help is there if I’m already struggling with my energy bills?
Households are already struggling to cover the cost of their energy bills, so further rises will only mean they need more support.
Your first step should be to contact your energy supplier.
They may be able to change your payment plan or check if you’re eligible for their hardship fund.
For example, British Gas and Octopus have set up funds worth up to £750 to help customers who are struggling with their bills.
You should also check that you’re getting all the benefits you’re entitled to.
Use an online benefits calculator to make sure you’re not missing out on any extra cash.
Similarly, you can search for charity grants that help you pay for gas and electricity bills.
There’s more help from the government on the way too, later in the year.
Not only will households be lined up for the £400 help, but for those on Universal Credit and certain benefits a £650 one-off payment will be on the way.
Meanwhile a payment of £300 will go to low-income pensioners and £150 extra is heading to those with certain disabilities too.
They could get aid from the recently extended Household Support Fund too.
Thousands of pensioners in Reading for example can get up to £98 off their energy bills with the cash payment.
The fund as a whole has been through a shake-up again, with more money pumped into it to help families with the rising cost of living.
But you’ll have to contact your local council to find out what support is available in your area.
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