Your guide to the £400 Energy Bills Support Scheme.
What is the Energy Bills Support Scheme?
The Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS) is a non-repayable discount of £400 from the government, that every household with a domestic electricity connection will receive from October 2022 until 31 March 2023, to help offset higher energy bills.
In May 2022 the government announced the £400 scheme, along with a number of other cost of living support that is available to those hit worst by the high cost of living, such as pensioners and low income households. This government scheme has ended.
How do I get the £400 energy payment?
The government has announced (29 July) more information around how you will receive the Energy Bills Support Scheme payment. Importantly, you don't need to apply for the scheme, all households will start to receive £400 off their energy bills from October 2022 until 31 March 2023.
Each energy supplier has been asked to pay customers who have an electricity supply, so this means if your electricity is with us, you'll get your payment from E.ON Next. If you only have your gas with us, then you'll get your payment through your electricity supplier.
Customers do not need to apply or register to receive the £400. It will be applied automatically to their energy account. If you receive a text or email asking you to 'complete a form' or 'input your bank details', then this is a scammer. Customers do not need to do either of these actions to receive the money. There's more help with avoiding scams on this web page.
You'll see a discount of £66 applied to your energy bills in October and November, and £67 a month from December to March 2023. This government scheme has not been extended and will end on 31 March 2023.
We'll be paying the money differently, depending on how you pay for your fuel now:
Fixed Direct Debit customers will receive the money automatically as a deduction to their monthly Direct Debit. If a customer's EBSS payment takes their Direct Debit below £1 we may put them on a ‘payment holiday’, where we temporarily pause the Direct Debit.
Pay on receipt of bill customers and regular cash payment customers will see the money automatically applied as a credit to their energy accounts in the first week of each month. This will show as a credit in the payments section of their monthly bill.
Smart prepayment customers will see the money credited directly to their meters as a top up in the first week of each month.
Traditional prepayment customers will be provided with vouchers usually by the middle of each month. For E.ON Next customers these will only be redeemable at the Post Office, not at all top-up locations.
Additional government support.
The government has confirmed (21 Sept) that the £400 Energy Bill Support Scheme (EBSS) will be extended to cover people such as park home or house boat residents, people who use alternative fuel and those tenants whose landlords pay for their energy via a commercial contract.
EBSS Alternative Funding.
People in England, Scotland and Wales without a direct relationship to a domestic energy supplier, including many care home residents and those living in park homes, will receive a £400 discount on their fuel bills through the Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding (EBSS Alternative Funding).
Households in England, Scotland and Wales who are eligible for the £400 EBSS Alternative Funding can submit their details online, alongside a helpline (0808 175 3287 Mon-Fri 8am-6pm) for those without online access. Payments to households that meet the eligibility criteria – including people who get their energy through a commercial contract or who are off-grid – will be made by local authorities in Great Britain. This is likely to include:
care home residents
residents of park homes
tenants in certain private and social rented homes
homes supplied via private wires
residents of caravans and houseboats on registered sites
farmers living in domestic farmhouses
To make the process as simple as possible for consumers, those who are eligible for the EBSS Alternative Funding will need to submit a short online form via the government’s GOV.UK pages.
Alternative Fuel Payment.
The government is also providing a further £200 Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP) to help those households in Great Britain who use alternative fuels such as biomass or heating oil to meet energy costs this winter. Most households eligible for the AFP support in Great Britain, will receive payment automatically via their electricity supplier in February 2023, with no need to take any action. Those households who will need to apply for the AFP, for example because they do not have a relationship with an electricity supplier, will be able to do so through the same GOV.UK portal as the one that will be used to apply for support under the EBSS Alternative Funding scheme.
All households should wait until the end of February to receive their payment directly from their electricity supplier and should not contact their supplier about the AFP until this point.
Energy bills support for households in Northern Ireland.
All households in Northern Ireland will receive a single, one-off £600 payment to help with their bills. Payments will start in January 2023. This will be made up of £400 of support under the government’s Energy Bills Support Scheme Northern Ireland (EBSS NI), and £200 of support under the Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP) scheme, which will go to all households in Northern Ireland irrespective of how they heat their home.
All households in Northern Ireland will receive the support in a single payment to ensure the full benefit of the scheme is felt as soon as possible. The Northern Ireland scheme differs in this respect from EBSS in Great Britain to account for the particular nature of the NI energy market.
Administered by energy suppliers, customers who pay by Direct Debit will receive the £600 into their bank account directly. Other customers will be sent a voucher to redeem the payment, with further details of how they will work and what ID will be required to be set out shortly.
Do I need to repay the EBSS money?
No, this is a non-repayable discount to eligible households to help with energy bills from October. When the government originally announced the grant, they did say that the costs would be recouped over several years, however this has now been scrapped. You will not need to pay back the £400.
Why am I getting £400?
These measures have been announced by the government to help people deal with rising energy bills this winter.
How will the EBSS be paid for?
The cost of this Energy Bills Support Scheme will be partly covered by a windfall tax on oil and gas company profits, which should raise about £5 billion over the next year.
This will cover some of the bill, however the Treasury will need to use other funds to pay for this too.
Can I opt out of getting the EBSS?
All households with a domestic electricity connection will be automatically eligible for the £400. The money will be automatically discounted from their electricity bill monthly until 31 March 2023.
Get answers to your EBSS questions:
Why can’t I have the full £400 now?
The government is giving energy suppliers the money in 6 monthly instalments to pass onto customers, so it’s not possible to get the full amount all in one lump sum.
Can I have the money refunded into my bank account instead?
The money is being set aside by the government to help with winter bills and the upcoming price cap, therefore the money should go towards paying for energy.
In line with our credit refund policy we would need a meter reading so we can bill you up to date and understand your true balance.
We can refund the credit as long as this doesn't put you into arrears. However, it's important to note the increase in cost will likely mean any credit built up now will be used towards winter usage, so refunding that now may impact you later in the year and into the beginning of next year.
Can I use my PPM voucher to top up at my usual top up point?
E.ON Next customer vouchers will be redeemable at Post Offices. If you’re not an E.ON Next customer, check with your supplier to find out where you can redeem your voucher.
Can I give my PPM voucher to someone else to use?
The government is keen for every household to use this money on their energy and therefore the voucher is only for use for the household it was intended for.
The Post Office will ask for confirmation of address via a utility bill or driving licence for the vouchers to be redeemed.
If you are unable to redeem the voucher yourself, a person who you trust can collect your discount for you. If someone is bringing the voucher to the Post Office on your behalf, they will need to show their own identification, as well as yours.
Can I use my PPM voucher for my gas bill?
Yes, your voucher can be used for either your electricity or gas account if they are with E.ON Next. Just let the Post Office know which account you want to redeem the voucher against.
For Pay As You Go customers, we'll split the amount between your electricity and gas meters if you have both.
Will this impact my Warm Home Discount payment?
No, the Warm Home Discount scheme is completely separate. Please look out for more details about next winter's scheme year
Where can I get more information about this?
You can find out more information about the Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS) on the government website.
What is a Direct Debit payment holiday?
If your EBSS payment takes your Direct Debit below £1 we may put you on a ‘payment holiday’, where we temporarily pause your Direct Debit.
What extra help is there for the winter bills?
Alongside the £400 scheme, households that receive the Winter Fuel Payment (which is paid to nearly all homes with at least one person of pension age) will receive an additional £300 in November or December.
There are also other cost of living payments such as £650 for low income households.
Struggling to pay your bills?
Alongside the £400 Energy Bills Support Scheme there is a wide range of support that we can offer you if you're behind with your payments or need help reducing your bills. This includes:
Helping you set up an affordable payment plan that's suitable for you.
Helping you to reduce your usage with energy efficiency advice.
Support and guidance for all your energy needs.
To get started, please provide us with some details so we can offer you the right support.