This year, reading the news has been a major source of worry for those who are concerned about rising household expenses. Running a home is more expensive than ever due to strong inflation and record energy prices. Recently, several Energy Bill and Council Tax rebates were announced, some of which are available to everyone in the UK. This is wonderful news.
It can be challenging to remember what you’re qualified for and when to expect it with the cost of living support being announced thick and fast. We’ve outlined a timeframe for these payments below to make it easier for you to see if you’re on track.
Why is the government providing support?
The government recognises many households will need support to deal with rising energy costs, which are being affected by global factors. • From 1 April, the energy price cap will rise from £1,277 to £1,971 – an almost £700 increase in energy bills for the average household. • Wholesale gas prices have quadrupled in the last year. Because gas is used for electricity generation this pushes up retail electricity bills as well as retail gas bills.
April 2022 – June 2022: The £150 Council Tax rebate
The initial cost-of-living assistance payment, the £150 Council Tax Rebate announced this spring, ought to have already been distributed to those who qualified; the final delayed instalments were made at the start of June. Every family in Council Tax bands A through D ought to have gotten a payment that was sent right to the bank account that they use to make their direct debit payments.
Local governments are contacting homeowners directly to set up rebates for individuals who don’t pay by direct debit. The process must be finished by the end of September for councils.
You should get in touch with your local government immediately to make sure there is no problem if you are eligible for this payment, pay by direct debit, and haven’t heard anything yet. Please note, however, that this payment will not be provided to any owners of vacant or second houses.
July 2022 – Autumn 2022: The £650 Cost of Living Support Payment
Between July 14 through the end of the month, households receiving means-tested benefits will receive the first £650 of the government’s Cost of Living Support payment. All eligible individuals will automatically get paid. This covers persons who get pension credits, child tax credits, income assistance, employment and support allowance, universal credit, or jobseekers allowance.
These payments are meant to assist offset the surge in living expenses we’ve experienced this year as a result of skyrocketing energy costs and increases in Council Tax, Water, Broadband, and other Household Costs that are at or above Inflation. This fall, on an as-yet-undetermined date, the second instalment of the payment will be made using the same procedure. Families that receive tax credits and working tax credits are also qualified for this payment, but they won’t get it until this fall and then won’t get it again until the winter.
September 2022 – The £150 Cost of Living Support Payment
In September, a similar payment will be paid to people receiving disability benefits in order to assist with rising energy costs and other home expenses. Similar to the Council Tax Rebate, this payment will be made to all qualifying individuals in a lump sum of £150. You may check your eligibility for this payment as well as the other scheduled cost of living payments here. You can claim this payment in addition to the £650 payment described above if you obtain the applicable benefits.
October 2022 – April 2023 – Energy Bill rebates
The government pledged support for home energy bill earlier this year in the form of a £ 200 loan that consumers would pay back once the energy market stabilised. Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced in May that this payment would be increased to £400 and modified from a loan to a cost of living payment that will not need to be repaid as it became evident that this help would not be enough as the UK energy crisis persisted.
Starting in October and continuing for six months until April 2023, every home with a domestic metre will receive the £400 Energy bill rebate. This amount will be directly deposited into your account if you pay your energy bills by direct debit or credit. Customers that pay in advance will either get a coupon from their supplier or have the money automatically credited to their metres.
The vast majority of UK households will receive this payment, but if you don’t pay your energy bills directly, you should exercise caution. For instance, if your landlord manages your energy expenditures and they are included in your rent, you should be informed that the payment will be sent to them automatically. Although it is advisable, landlords are not currently required by law to pass the rebate on to tenants.
November 2022 – Winter Fuel Allowance increase
All eligible individuals will see a rise in their Winter Fuel Allowance in November 2022, which is when the final cost of living assistance payment currently announced will be made. The yearly Winter Fuel Allowance is given to people over 65 to aid with rising fuel and heating costs over the winter.
For those who qualify, an additional £300 per household payment will be made this year at the same time as the regular allowance payment in November.
Domestic energy rates are still the highest they have ever been, but these planned payments will make it easier for individuals around the UK to manage rising costs. This will be especially useful in the winter when fuel use increases and temperatures decrease. There are several things you may do to reduce your energy costs in the interim.
Additionally, you may be able to save money on your broadband, mobile, TV, insurance, and more if you are out of contract or have recently moved! To get the most out of your utilities, schedule a call with one of our Connections Experts.