£200 million in energy bill rebates to be handed out to Brits with second homes | The Sun08/30/2022
ALMOST £200million in energy bill rebates are to be handed out to wealthy Brits with empty second homes, The Sun can reveal.
Millions of Brits will get £400 energy bill help from October – but almost 500,000 households own more than one property.
The government intends to splash £200 million on these households, a figure equating to 40 percent of the Household Support Fund's £500 million budget.
It means they will get to keep the handouts, as energy bills soar to £3,549 this October.
Experts have warned that rocketing gas and electricity prices will see half of homes in fuel poverty.
Tracey Molineux of Turn2us, says: “Every day, our helpline advisers hear from parents who are skipping meals to keep their children fed, or who are left sitting in the dark to save on energy costs.”
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Around 29 million households are eligible for the £400 payment.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has directed energy suppliers to pay households in six chunks between October and March.
However, because the £400 bill rebate is not means-tested, households with even the highest disposable income are eligible.
Those with two homes would be eligible for two payments worth £800 and those with three would get £1,200.
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities estimates that English households owned 495,000 second homes across the UK – and most are empty.
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But a government spokesman said: “Amending our energy support scheme could stop people who are paying on behalf of elderly or disabled friends and relatives from receiving the discount.”
Campaigners including Rob Love, chief executive and founder of Crowdfunder UK, are encouraging wealthier households to donate the rebate.
Love said: “We are not necessarily critical of the government, they have acted fast, but they are not best placed to get all of the money to the right place.
“The £200 million is a fraction of what needs to be redirected. But this is a more efficient way to redistribute wealth from the haves to the have nots. It is a "levelling up" for and by the people.”
Crowdfunder is working with leading charities, including Turn2Us, National Energy Action, Fareshare and the Trussell Trust to share the donations directly to those most in need.
The “Donate The Rebate” campaign now has the backing of a number of chief executives including Raman Bhatia of Ovo Energy and Amands Blanc of Aviva.
The former Chancellor Rishi Sunak has also said that he’ll donate the £1,200 he’ll receive for his three homes.
What is the £400 energy bills rebate?
From October, every household in the country will start to benefit from a £400 energy bill discount.
The payments will be given out in six instalments between October and March.
Households will receive a £66 energy bill discount in October and November and a discount worth £67 in December, January, February and March.
The £400 discount is a grant and you won't have to pay the money back in the future.
It's up to your energy supplier to distribute the discount.
We've listed how the leading energy suppliers plan to pay households the discount and are waiting on others to respond.
The way you'll be paid will depend on how you pay for your energy.
I have a standard electricity meter, how will I get the payment?
Direct debit customers will receive the energy bill discount in one of two ways.
You will either get an automatic deduction to your monthly direct debit, or you'll get a refund into your bank account AFTER your direct debit has been taken each month – this is what British Gas and EDF are doing.
If you pay by credit (which means you get a bill through and then make a payment) the discount will be automatically applied as a credit on your account in the first week of each month.
I'm on a prepayment meter, how will I get the discount?
If you're on a smart prepayment meter, the discount will be credited directly to your meter in the first week of each month of delivery – you won't need to do anything.
If you're on a traditional prepayment meter, you'll be given a redeemable energy bill discount voucher or special action message (SAMs) in the first week of each month, issued via SMS text, email or post.
Customers will then need to redeem these at their usual top-up point.
I don't have a direct relationship with an energy provider?
The government has confirmed today that further funding will be available to provide equivalent support of £400 for energy bills for the 1% of households who will not be reached through the energy bill support scheme.
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This includes those who do not have a domestic electricity meter or a direct relationship with an energy supplier, such as park home residents.
An announcement with details on how and when these households across Great Britain can access this support will be made this Autumn.
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