Making sure you receive all the cost-of-living benefits you are entitled to
We have all heard about support households across the UK have received to help with their energy costs.
This can be especially confusing if you do not have mains electric or gas. This means the way you receive support may be different, which we have outlined and explained below.
Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS)
This is the Governments headline “£400 for every household in the UK” support payment.
If you receive your electricity through mains electricity you should receive this through your electricity supplier. If you have not received it, you should contact your electricity supplier.
This is a per household benefit and is only paid to your electricity account.
If you do not have mains electricity, you can apply to receive this as a direct payment. You must do so before 31st May 2023. You can find details of eligibility and how to apply here - https://www.gov.uk/apply-energy-bill-support-if-not-automatic.
Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS)
This was the scheme put in place to support non-domestic users between the 31st October 2022 and 31st March 2023, who did not benefit from the price cap in the same way as domestic consumers did.
This scheme often benefitted heat networks, as well as private wire suppliers, whose supply is non-domestic. If you are a consumer on a heat network, your heat supplier is required to pass through the benefits they received, including ensuring:
- You are notified that your heat supplier has benefited from EBRS.
- You are notified how your heat supplier is passed on the benefits of the EBRS scheme.
- You receive the full benefit of the EBRS scheme.
If you believe your heat supplier has not complied with the above, you should complain to them in the first instance. If you cannot resolve the matter, or believe your heat supplier has still not complied with the passthrough requirements, you can raise a complaint with the Energy Ombudsman here - https://www.ombudsman-services.org/sectors/heat-networks
Energy Bills Discount Scheme (EBDS)
This replaced the Energy Bills Relief Scheme and is in place between 1st April 2023 and 31st March 2024 and helps eligible non-domestic users with their energy utility costs.
You may be entitled to receive benefits if your electricity supplier, or heat supplier, receives any benefit under the EBDS scheme.
If you are connected to a heat network for the supply of heat and/or hot water, your heat supplier may receive benefits under the EBDS scheme. If they do, they are required to pass through the benefits received, including:
- You are notified that your supplier has benefited from EBDS.
- You are notified how your supplier is passed on the benefits of the EBDS scheme.
- You receive the full benefit of the EBDS scheme.
If you believe your supplier has not complied with the above, you should complain to them in the first instance. If you cannot resolve the matter, or believe your supplier has still not complied with the passthrough requirements, you can raise a complaint with the Energy Ombudsman here - https://www.ombudsman-services.org/sectors/heat-networks
Cost of Living Support Payments
You may also be eligible for cost-of-living support payments if you receive to certain benefits or tax credits. You will receive these payments automatically and do not need to apply. You can find out more information here - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/cost-of-living-payment
If you are struggling with the cost of your energy, you can get in touch and we will try to agree with you an affordable payment plan. If you have other payment difficulties, or are struggling with your finances, it is important to seek help from organisations such as MoneyHelper or Citizens Advice.