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Government Council Tax Energy Rebate

If you live in a property in council tax bands A to D, you are likely to receive a £150 council tax energy rebate from the Government to help with the increased cost of energy bills. 

What is the Council Tax Energy Rebate?

As countries around the world come out of Covid-19 lockdowns, surging demand for energy has meant energy prices have increased. 

Over the past year, the price of gas alone has quadrupled. Whilst the problem is global, the effect is being felt by millions of households here in the UK. The Government has listened to these concerns and it has acted. 

Government announced that around 20 million households in England in council tax bands A-D will get a £150 energy rebate from April. The rebate will not need to be repaid. 

The council has been allocated a further £539,250 to create a Discretionary Scheme for those who do not qualify for the mandatory scheme.

Due to the limited funding the discretionary scheme will run in two phases to allow the council time to further  consider the  options with regard to how the Discretionary Scheme may assist financially vulnerable customers and will provide an update here when available. 

Who is eligible to receive the rebate?

Households in council tax bands A-D, and those in band E who are eligible for the Disabled Band reduction, will receive the £150 council tax energy rebate. This means 4 out of 5 households in England will benefit, including around 95% of rented properties.

Please note: second homes or empty properties will not benefit. 

Not sure of your council tax band?

Find out your council tax band on GOV.UK

Alternatively, you can find your council tax band on your council tax bill.

Who is eligible

You must be the responsible person at 11.59pm on 1 April 2022 and meet ALL of the following criteria:

  • Be in Council Tax Bands A-D. This includes property that is valued in band E but has an alternative valuation band of band D, because of the disabled band reduction scheme
  • Be someone’s sole or main residence
  • Be a chargeable dwelling, or in exemption classes N, S, U or W*; and
  • Be the person who is liable to pay the council tax (or would be were the property not exempt) who is not a local authority, a corporate body or other body such as a housing association, the government or governmental body.
Exemption Class  Description
Class N Properties occupied solely by students, school or college leavers or non-British spouses of students may be eligible for an exemption.
Class S Properties occupied only by a person or persons aged under 18
Class U Properties occupied solely by persons who are severely mentally impaired
Class W Annexes or self-contained parts of a property which are occupied by dependant relatives of the occupants of the main property

Who is not eligible

The following properties are NOT eligible: 

  • A property that has no permanent resident and is someone’s second home will not be eligible.
  • An unoccupied property (for the purposes of calculating council tax) will not be eligible.
  • A local authority, a corporate body or other body such as a housing association, the government or governmental body who is liable to pay the council tax.

Please note: this grant payment is intended to support all household members. If it is found that you are not the liable person and the rebate has been paid in error the council will seek to recover this money.

What if my household isn’t eligible?

Councils will receive an extra £144 million to provide support to vulnerable households who may not qualify for the £150 council tax rebate. 

Due to limited funding it is not possible to provide support to all households in Bands E-H. The Council will run the discretionary scheme in two phases. 

Phase One

Under phase one the Energy Rebate Discretionary Scheme will provide a £150 energy rebate to eligible households in properties in council tax bands E - H who are also in receipt of council tax support in April 2022.

Phase two  

Phase two of the scheme will provide a £150 energy rebate to:

  • Eligible households in properties in council tax bands A - H who are in receipt of council tax support during April 2022 and have high barriers to work or are in receipt of a disability-related benefit 
  • Tenant(s) who live in in a House in Multiple Occupation property and are not liable to pay Council Tax but who are individually or jointly responsible for paying energy bills directly to energy providers .

 

We will be making contact with eligible households  in May for the first phase of the scheme. 

How will my household get its £150 energy rebate? 

If you currently pay by Direct Debit (prior to 3 February 2022)

Where the Council holds bank details as you are the liable person for council tax and pay by Direct Debit (DD), payment will not be made until after we have received the household’s first direct debit instalment for the 2022-23 bill. Those paying in April should receive their £150 payment in late April.

Where a household has more than one person jointly responsible for council tax, payment will be made into the account where the LIVE Direct Debit is received from

If you set your Direct Debit up after 3 February 2022

Anyone who set their direct debit up after 3 February 2022 will not make their first payment for council tax until May, this means they will not receive their energy rebate until after the May payment has been received. 

If you don’t currently pay by Direct Debit

Sign up for Direct Debit to get your energy rebate paid quickly

If you don’t already pay by Direct Debit, you might want to sign up. This will make sure the rebate is paid to you automatically:

Please note: you will not receive your energy rebate until after your first Direct Debit payment has been collected.

If you don’t want to sign up for Direct Debit

For all other payees, you will be required to complete an application form to gather the details necessary for us to make the payment. The Council will be writing to the liable person for council tax from April 2022 onwards. Payment cannot be made into a business account.  

It will  take longer to process these payments as we are required to undertake pre-payment checks prior to payment of any grant which is not awarded to a live Direct Debit holder.

The council will only use your bank details to make your energy rebate payment.

They will not be stored or processed for any other purpose.

Payments will be made between April 2022 and 30 September 2022 for the main scheme and April 2022 to 30 November 2022 for the Discretionary scheme

However, if you’d like to make sure you get your energy rebate quickly, the best way is to sign up for Direct Debit payments.

What happens if someone else pays my council tax for me?

If your council tax is paid by someone else, we will write to you to complete an application form to gather your bank details to allow us to make the payment to you. Payment cannot be made into a business account. 

We are required to undertake pre-payment checks prior to payment of any grant. Payments will be made between April 2022 and 30 September 2022 for the main scheme and April 2022 to 30 November 2022 for the Discretionary scheme.

I have provided my bank details on-line when will I get my payment?

Councils are required to undertake pre-payment checks ahead of any payment being made to individuals that do not pay their council tax by direct debit to verify their identity and bank details.

Applications will therefore take some time to process, but we will be working through them as quickly as possible. 

What if my Direct Debit is returned?

If your direct debit is returned your £150 energy rebate will be delayed. You will be sent a letter asking you to go on-line and provide your bank details before we are able to make your payment. Please be aware that additional prepayment checks will be made prior to payment.

What if I do not want to provide my bank account details?

If you do not complete the online bank details form by the end of June the £150 energy rebate will be credited to your council tax account and yours instalments reviewed.

If the account is in credit after this date, we will be looking at ways of refunding the credit, but this will not happen until July at the earliest.

I’m worried about giving you my bank details

The online process is secure. You will have been provided with a onetime use access code and will be asked to provide certain security details.

The Council will only use your bank details to make your energy rebate payment. 

They will not be stored or processed for any other purpose.

Can you pay the rebate direct into my council tax account to reduce my bill?

The government guidance is that the rebate is to help with energy costs, and we are instructed to pay the money to you directly. 

If you are struggling to pay your council tax bill there is additional financial help which may be available.

I don’t want to give you my bank details and I don’t want you to pay the money into my council tax account. How will you pay me? 

We are currently considering alternative methods of payment. However we recommend you either set up a Direct Debit or complete the online bank account form.

Can I stop my bank from using the rebate to pay off an overdrawn account?

Yes, you can. Instead of the rebate being taken by your bank to pay off an unarranged overdraft you may have, you can tell them how you would prefer the money to be used. This might be to pay for phone or energy bills, for example.

All you have to do is send them a letter telling them that the rebate for £150 will be credited to your account, and how you would like it to be spent by detailing upcoming transactions.

This process is called 'First Right of Appropriation'.

Download a sample 'First Right of Appropriation' letter from the National Debtline website.

When will I get paid?

Direct Debit payers

If you pay your council tax by Direct Debit, we are estimating you will receive payments as stated below. Please note: payment can only be made once we have received a successful payment by Direct Debit.  

 Direct Debit Payment Date  Energy Rebate Payment date
 1 May 2022  13 May 22 - 17 May 22
 5 May 2022 18 May 22 - 20 May 22 
 15 May 2022  25 May 22 - 27 May 22
 25 May 2022  8 June 22 - 10 June 22

I pay by Direct Debit, but have not received my energy rebate payment yet, is there a reason why?

There are a number of reasons as to why you may not yet of received your energy rebate payment:

  • If your Direct Debit is paid by someone else or your bank name does not match the name on your council tax bill. Further checks have to be made, and we may write to you shortly to provide bank details.  
  • If you have cancelled your direct debit before we have received your council tax payment, you will not be paid and you will receive a letter to provide your bank account.

We are working through these payments as quickly as we can, please bear with us. 

Non-Direct Debit payers

If you pay your council tax by a method other than Direct Debit, we are writing to gather your bank details. Payment cannot be made until we have carried out pre-payment checks, which can take some time. We are making payments as soon as possible where we are able to. In many instances payment cannot be made as the pre-payment validation has failed, we will shortly be contacting households to request evidence of the bank account. We are sorry for any delay, but we have to carry out thorough checks to prevent and detect fraud. 

What happens if household circumstances change after 1 April 2022?

Where the council has reason to believe that the information we hold about the valuation list, liable taxpayer(s) or residents’ circumstances as at the 1 April 2022 is inaccurate, we are within our rights to withhold the payment and take reasonable steps to determine the correct information.

Where records relating to the liable taxpayer(s) or residents’ circumstances as at the 1 April 2022 are retrospectively updated, the council will clawback payments.

What happens if the council tax band is changed or is incorrect?

Where the property band recorded on a valuation list is amended retrospectively to 1 April 2022, for example as a result of a successful appeal made to the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) that concluded after this date, councils are not required to pay or clawback payments. The exception is where a property is a new build and awaiting an official banding from the VOA. In these cases, eligibility will be determined based on the official band subsequently allocated by the VOA, where this has an effective date before or on 1 April 2022.

Is the rebate taxable?

This payment is not taxable. 

How will we deal with fraud and error?

The Government will not accept deliberate manipulation and fraud, and any person caught falsifying their records to gain money will face prosecution and any funding issued will be subject to claw back, as may any grants paid in error.

The council will carry out pre-payment checks on all rebates. 

How do I report a scam?

The energy rebate creates an opportunity for malicious actors to pose as government departments, local authorities or council tax rebate services in order to collect personal or banking information from citizens. 

Cyber criminals use fake messages as bait to lure you into clicking on the links within their scam email or text message, or to give away sensitive information (such as bank details).

These messages may look like the real thing but are malicious. Once clicked, you may be sent to an unsecure and unsafe website which could download viruses onto your computer, or steal your passwords.

If you think you may have been the victim of fraud or cybercrime and incurred a financial loss or have been hacked as a result of responding to a phishing message, you should report this to Action Fraud:

Report fraud on the Action Fraud website.

What else is on offer to support households with their energy bills? 

Energy bills

All energy companies will automatically take £200 off domestic electricity bills in October 2022, and spread it over future bills.

The £200 reduction will help people manage the increase in energy bills by spreading the increased costs over a few years, so they are more manageable for households. It will be automatically recovered from people’s bills in equal instalments over 5 years, beginning in 2023, when global wholesale gas prices are expected to come down.

This is not a debt, no interest is charged and no credit ratings are affected. 

Warm Home Discount Scheme

The Warm Home Discount will be expanded, so nearly 3 million low-income households will benefit from a £150 discount. 

Read more about the Warm Home Discount Scheme on GOV.UK.

Where can I find further information?

The Government has produced various factsheets regarding energy bills and cost of living:

GOV.UK - Energy bills and the cost of living - factsheets (external website)

The Governmant has also produced the following flyer which might be useful for printing:

Council Tax Energy Rebate flyer (pdf 115kb)

Please note: This flyer is not in an accessible format. However, all the information within it can be found on this page.

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