Live in Northern Ireland, in a park home or use alternative fuel? Here's everything you need to know about energy grant payments in 2023
More than a million households - including those in Northern Ireland, living in park homes or using alternative fuels - that have been waiting for energy support payments have now finally started to receive them. Some are being paid automatically, though others may need to apply.
We've got the full details below, but in brief (links take you to the info you need):
- Live in Northern Ireland? Unless you're fully off-grid, you should have received your £600 by now. Those fully off-grid need to apply for their payment via a portal that launched on 27 February.
- Live in England, Scotland or Wales and you're in a park home, or you pay for your energy through a landlord? The online application process for £400 payments opened on 27 February. You've got until 31 May to apply.
- Live in England, Scotland or Wales and use alternative fuels? Unless you're fully off-grid you should have received your £200 by now. If you haven't, or you're fully off-grid, you need to apply for the payment through a portal which launched on 6 March. This is for those who use heating oil or LPG, for example.
If you live in England, Scotland or Wales and you pay for your energy directly to your supplier, you'll receive your £400 'Energy Bill Support Scheme (EBSS)' payment in six monthly instalments between October 2022 and March 2023. See our Energy grants news story for more info on how you'll be paid this.
These payments are being made by the Government to help people with the increased cost of living. For more on this, and other help available, see our Struggling to pay your energy bills? guide.
Households in Northern Ireland will receive a non-repayable £600 grant. This is made-up of £400, which is the same discount all households in the UK receive, as well as an additional £200 on top in recognition of the reliance on alternative fuels in Northern Ireland.
However you're paid, you will not be asked to provide your bank account details to anyone - so beware of scammers who may ask for this. See our 30+ Ways to stop scams guide for help protecting yourself.
Here's what's happening:
- If you DON'T have a direct relationship with your electricity supplier or you live fully off-grid, you'll need to apply via the Gov.uk portal. This portal launched on Gov.uk for all Northern Irish households on 27 February. We're checking if or when the portal is due to close and we'll update this story.
- If you DO have a direct relationship with your electricity supplier AND you pay your energy bill by direct debit, you'll receive the payment automatically into your bank account between 16 January and 28 February. The Government told us everyone should now have received this payment, except some in 'non-standard' cases, such as those who may have moved house or switched energy supplier.
- If you DO have a direct relationship with your electricity supplier but you DON'T pay by direct debit - because you have a credit account or a prepayment meter, for example - you'll be sent a voucher to redeem the £600 from 16 January. Around 500,000 households were due to receive their vouchers by post from 16 January over a four-week period. According to the Government, over 90% of them have already been redeemed.
Vouchers will come in the form of letters and will carry badges of the relevant electricity supplier and the UK Government, and will contain a barcode. You will not be asked to go online or to provide any details.
Vouchers are redeemable at any Post Office counter either as cash or by depositing it into a bank or credit union. Vouchers will be valid until 31 March 2023 and can be reissued if lost.
To redeem your voucher at the Post Office, you'll need to take along the voucher, the letter from your supplier issued with your voucher, proof of address dated before 2 January 2023, and photo ID. Keypad customers will also need to bring their keypad app or top up card.
Valid forms of proof of address include a bank statement, letter from a UK Government or Northern Ireland department, rental or mortgage agreement, or utility bill, such as phone, water, electricity, TV licence.
Valid forms of photo ID include Armed Forces ID card or Police Warrant card, Asylum ID card, Northern Ireland Electoral Identity Card, Passport, Translink SmartPass (60+ / Blind Person/ Senior / War Disabled), or UK or EU / EEA photo driving licence.
Live in a park home or pay your landlord directly? The application process for £400 payments is now open until 31 May 2023
Those in England, Scotland or Wales who live in park homes, or pay their energy bill through their landlord via a commercial contract, will have to apply for the non-repayable £400 Government grant (that everyone else is already getting).
You'll be able to apply either via an online portal on the Gov.uk website, which launched on 27 February, or via a dedicated customer helpline. You'll need to provide proof of address, which can include a utility bill, driving licence, benefits entitlement letter, tenancy agreement, as well as certain other documents. You have until 31 May to apply.
Once your application has been processed, your details will be shared with your local council, which will make the payment in one instalment.
Beware of scammers - the Government will never directly send you a link to the application portal or ask you to apply and provide your bank details. Watch out for phishing emails or texts directing you to a link to 'apply' or asking for your account information. You should only access the portal via the Gov.uk website.
The Government added that it is "developing options" to continue to provide support for these households in line with other domestic customers from April. We've asked the Government what these options will be and we will update this story when we know more.
Live in Great Britain and use heating oil, LPG or alternative fuels? Unless you're fully off-grid, you should have received your £200 payment by now
The one-off £200 grant for those that use heating oil, have an LPG boiler, biomass boiler or use a similar alternative fuel to heat their home in England, Scotland or Wales is on top of the £400 support payment. But this payment information hasn't been forthcoming.
This payment was initially planned as £100, but it was announced in the Autumn Statement that it would be doubled to £200 and paid in winter. In December 2022, the Government then told us these payments would be made "as soon as possible in the New Year". It later confirmed these will instead come from 6 February, though it's now said some will need to wait until 6 March. Here's what we know:
- If you're fully off grid, you'll need apply though the dedicated Gov.uk portal. This launched on 6 March and is different to the £400 payment portal mentioned above.
- If you have a direct relationship with your electricity supplier, you should have received your £200 payment by now. How you got your payment depended on how you pay your energy bills:
- If you pay by direct debit, the £200 should have been put into your bank account using the account details your energy provider holds.
- If you pay by standard credit (also known as 'on receipt of bills'), or you're a smart prepayment meter user, you should have had £200 added to your energy account.
- If you're a traditional prepayment meter customer, you should have received a voucher either by text, email or post, which will be valid for three months. You'll need ID to redeem the voucher at the post office, and you can get replacement credit if the voucher is lost, by contacting your supplier.
If you haven't been paid yet, you'll need to apply via the portal.