Chelmsford City Council

Government announce £150 payment to support with rising energy costs

In February 2022, the Chancellor announced plans to pay a rebate to some households to help with rising energy costs, using the Council Tax system.

The government decided to award £150 to every resident household liable for Council Tax in Bands A to D. In Chelmsford, this equates to roughly 55,000 payments.

We started to make payments on 17 May 2022. We have made the first payments to eligible people who pay by direct debit and whose bank account name exactly matches the details of the people we hold liable for Council Tax.

There are some direct debit payers whose details do not match the Council Tax details. Sometimes the reason for the mismatch is simple, for example, a missing ‘Mr’ or ‘Ms’. We are correcting these manually and will issue payments once we have completed this. Others are more difficult to determine. For example, a person who has got married and changed their name but either their bank account or Council Tax details are under their previous name. We will work through these as quickly as possible.

If the direct debit is in a completely different person’s name, for example where a parent pays a child’s Council Tax, we will not be able to make a payment into that bank account.

If you pay your Council Tax by direct debit, we will already have your bank details. We will take your April instalment first, and use this to check that our records are correct. This will help us to reduce the risk of paying into the wrong bank account by mistake.

We have to collect a direct debit payment successfully in order to validate your bank details. If you have only recently set up a direct debit, you will not receive the Energy Rebate until after we have collected your first direct debit. 

If you don’t pay by direct debit, or your direct debit details do not match the name of the person liable for Council Tax, you will receive a letter which will include a barcode.

If you take the letter to Post Office with the correct ID, you can receive your £150 energy rebate in cash. The letter will tell you what you need to do. 

We have received reports that some Post Offices have been running out of cash. However, the Post Office can credit the £150 to debit cards from most banks, except for Nationwide. You can find a detailed list of personal banking services that are available from any Post Office branch.

You must claim your cash within one month of the date on the letter. For example, if the date on your letter is 11 July, you must claim your cash by 10 August or it will expire.

We know the dates that vouchers will expire and we will re-issue vouchers to those people who have not managed to cash their first voucher. However, we can only do this once because we must pay all energy rebates must by 30 September.

If you don't cash your new voucher before it expires in September, we will pay your energy rebate to your Council Tax account to make sure that you don’t lose the money completely.

If you can’t go to a Post Office, we can credit your Council Tax account and, on request, refund the money to you. However, this will create a further delay to your payment.

We will not telephone you to ask for your personal banking details. If you receive any text message or email, you should always make sure that it is genuine before giving any personal information or clicking on any links.

There will also be a discretionary scheme for households that are not eligible for the main scheme.

It will probably cover vulnerable, low-income households who either don’t pay Council Tax at all, or who are in Bands E to H. However, the money we have available to fund this scheme is limited.

We will publish details of who is eligible and how to apply for the discretionary scheme on this page in due course.

As stated above, the majority of people who pay their Council Tax by direct debit will now have received their Energy Rebate. We are working to resolve any mismatches between bank account details and Council Tax records and pay those residents.

If you are not on direct debit or the direct debit payer is not the person liable for Council Tax, we will be sending out a voucher which you can cash at the Post Office.

If you are not eligible for the main scheme, the process will take longer.

In the meantime, we would ask that you do not call us asking about progress, as this will only delay matters. We will update this page as and when we have more news.

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Last updated: 12 August 2022

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