UK Providing Millions Of Homes With Additional Energy Bills Help
The UK Government has confirmed details of a one-off payment of £600 to help households in Northern Ireland with their heating and electricity bills.
These schemes add to the cost-of-living support package put in place by the Government to help reduce household energy bills in the UK. These include the Energy Price Guarantee, which will save a typical UK household around £900 this winter, and matching support in Northern Ireland.
“Putin’s illegal war has pushed up global energy prices but we continue to work hard and urgently to get help to homes across the UK and this update gives people more certainty about when and how we provide fuel bill help will. ”
“We are already capping the amount suppliers can charge consumers for their energy through the Energy Price Guarantee, which will continue to help consumers through March 2024. We’ve all seen and felt the temperature drop lately, so today’s updates will help millions worry less about their energy and heating bills this winter,” said Business and Energy Secretary Grant Shapps.
All households in Northern Ireland receive a one-off payment of £600 to pay their bills. Payments will start in January 2023. These consist of a £400 support under the Government of Northern Ireland’s Energy Bills Support Scheme and a £200 support under the Alternative Fuel Payment Scheme, which is independent of the cost to all households in Northern Ireland as they heat their homes.
The UK Government has today confirmed it will fund electricity companies for this payment to ensure it is managed quickly and suppliers should start making payments to customers in January. That means most NI consumers ahead of UK households will receive the full amount of energy bill support while still receiving the same support this winter.
“I am aware of the uncertainty and frustration people across Northern Ireland have felt about their energy bill support. Families can start the new year knowing they will have full support from January.”
“I am grateful that officials, ministers and utilities have found a solution, particularly given the complexities of NI’s energy market, although I would have liked to see Northern Ireland’s political parties deliver this as part of a restored Executive,” said Secretary of State State for Northern Ireland Chris Heaton-Harris declared.
As well as this support for households across Northern Ireland, the Government has also announced details of how people in England, Scotland and Wales with no direct relationship to a domestic energy supplier can get a £400 rebate on their fuel bills through the Energy Bills Alternative Funding scheme.
The government is also providing a further alternative fuel payment of £200 to help those UK households using alternative fuels such as biomass or heating oil to meet their energy bills this winter. Most households eligible for AFP support in the UK will automatically receive payment through their electricity supplier in February with no action on your part. Online applications will open in January.
“Getting this support for household bills across the country will save millions of people hundreds of pounds during the coldest months of the year. This has been a priority and collaborative effort with close collaboration between officials and electricity suppliers in Northern Ireland, as well as with local authorities in the UK, which will help secure support for over 900,000 households that are not directly linked to energy suppliers, which most households do ‘ said Energy and Climate Secretary Graham Stuart.
Most households that don’t have a direct relationship with a domestic energy supplier have already benefited from subsidized energy bills through the government’s business support scheme, with the Energy Pricing Act passed earlier this year to ensure these benefits are passed on to consumers who don’t pay their energy bills pay directly.
As well as rebates provided by the EBSS and alternative fuel payments, the government’s energy price guarantee will save a typical UK household this winter around £900 based on energy prices which would be below the current price cap – reducing bills by around one One-third.
For households in Northern Ireland, the Energy Price Guarantee already offers equivalent support to that in the rest of the UK – helping those using gas and electricity save around £550 this winter.
Further support in the form of out-of-pocket payments will also be made available this year for vulnerable households, including living expenses payments for retirees, people on disability-related benefits and people on means-tested benefits. The Household Support Fund provides extra help for those most in need, and £26 billion in targeted support will help protect those most vulnerable in the next financial year.
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