People in Bath and North East Somerset who do not pay their council tax by direct debit are now able to apply for the Government’s £150 energy rebate scheme.
Those who are eligible for the payment can now fill in a form on B&NES Council’s website.
To prevent fraud, people who pay by non-direct debit methods will get a letter from the council containing personal access code and council tax account number.
Both of these need to be included on a webform along with bank details so the council can verify their details.
Anyone who is not on the internet can visit Bath Welfare, Housing and Advice Service in Manvers Street (formerly the One Stop Shop) or Keynsham & Midsomer Norton Library and Information Services.
Providing they have their letter and bank details with them, a Customer Services officer will help them to fill in the webform. People can also contact Council Connect for guidance on 01225 39 40 41.
Bank details must match the council-tax payer otherwise they will be rejected pending further checks. The council is advising these will take additional time to process.
Once the council has the bank details, under Cabinet Office protocol, it needs to verify them through a government system to prevent fraud and ensure the £150 gets to the right people.
A reminder letter will go out in July, and for those who don’t claim or get in touch by 31st July 2022, the council will credit the £150 to their Council Tax account so no one loses out.
Already 43,000 eligible residents in Bath and North East Somerset who pay their council tax by direct debit have now received the payment.
There have been a number of cases where it has not been possible to make payments to existing direct debit payers, for example when bill and bank account names do not match or the bank has rejected the payment.
The council says it has been working to resolve this and expects to make payment in coming days.
The government announced earlier this year that residents living in properties in Council Tax bands A to D will receive a £150 energy rebate as a one-off payment to help with rises in fuel bills. The money does not have to be repaid.
Councillor Kevin Guy, council leader, said: “We have been working hard since the government announced this payment to set systems up to makes sure all eligible residents get their £150 towards fuel bills.
“It has been a huge undertaking distributing almost £9.6million. We have made payments to 43,000 people, who pay by direct debit and I am very pleased to see that for those residents who do not pay by direct debit they too will get their £150 in the coming weeks, provided their bank details are verified.”
Families who do not qualify for the £150 energy rebate, for example those living in bands E and above, may qualify for a discretionary payment if they are on a low income or receive certain benefits. All awards will be for £150.
Residents will be eligible for the discretionary fund if they meet the following criteria:
- They are not entitled to the main energy rebate scheme as they are not liable for council tax or their home is in council tax band E or above
- They are directly liable for energy costs i.e. their name is on the electricity or gas bill
- They receive an income-based benefit including Universal Credit or Working Tax Credit OR have combined household earnings and pensions below £500 per week.