ENERGY BILLS SUPPORT SCHEME
The government’s Energy Bills Support Scheme, under which all households in Great Britain with an electricity supply will receive a £400 discount to help with the cost of energy, became operative on 1st October.
The discount will be paid by your electricity supplier and spread over a 6-month period, from October 2022 to March 2023 (i.e. £66 in October and November, and then £67 every month until March).
The way the discount will be paid and the exact time you get each monthly discount will depend on your energy supplier and how you pay for your energy. Full details should be available if you visit your supplier’s website but, as an example, if your supplier is OVO Energy (formerly SSE) and you pay your bill monthly by direct debit, you will receive your discount as a refund. In other words, you will carry on paying your full direct debit amount and once the payment has cleared, OVO will refund the monthly discount amount to your bank account shortly after.
You will not need to pay back the discount – and there is no need to apply for it (regardless of who your supplier is) or provide any bank details etc.so if you receive an email, text or any communication, however authentic looking, inviting you to apply for the discount, please ignore it – IT IS A SCAM!
The Energy Bills Support Scheme is in addition to the government’s Energy Price Guarantee.
ENERGY PRICE GUARANTEE
The government’s Energy Price Guarantee caps the amount suppliers can charge for energy usage to a maximum of 34p per kWh plus a standing charge of 46p per day for electricity and 10.3p per kWh plus a standing charge of 28p per day for gas. Consequently, a “typical” household – defined as a three-bedroom, 2/3 person dwelling using 2,900kWh of electricity and 12,000kWh of gas per annum – would pay no more than £2,500pa for the next two years of the guarantee period.
As the price cap is a limit on the average bill, customers can pay far more, or much less than £2,500 pa. depending on their actual energy usage.
This is all very well of course – unless, like many residents of Bury and West Burton, you live in one of the 1.5 million households in the country reliant upon heating oil rather than electricity or gas for heating their homes.
When the Prime Minister announced the energy price guarantee she said a fund will be created to support people who use heating oil in their homes but did not say how big that fund would be. It was subsequently announced that a £100 fixed payment would be made to heating oil customers but with no mention as to how they would receive it. As you can see from the statement released by the UK & Ireland Fuel Distributors Association, the mechanics of delivering this element of the package is far from straightforward and we await with bated breath . . .
“UKIFDA, the trade body for the liquid fuel distribution industry, has met with the government to discuss the most efficient way of getting the £100 fixed payment announced on 19th September to heating oil customer. Given the highly competitive nature of the heating oil market, customers have the ability to purchase from a number of different distributors and outlets. Consequently, they are likely to hold multiple accounts, which makes the fixed payment distribution challenging to deliver without duplication.
Inevitably this will take some time, so we strongly recommend that customers do not wait if they need heating oil. We are working closely with the government to find a solution and ensure that heating oil households receive their £100 as soon as possible.
As we head into winter, many oil heating customers will know that the best and most economical approach is to talk to their local distributors on a regular basis and not leave purchases to the last minute”.