Richmond.gov.uk

Discretionary energy rebate scheme

The government announced that all households in Council Tax band A-D properties (or Band E with disabled band reduction) would be eligible for a £150 non-repayable payment known as the Council Tax energy rebate (this is referred to as the mandatory scheme).

Funding was also set aside for local authorities to support households not eligible for the mandatory scheme but in need of help with their energy bills. This is known as the 'discretionary scheme'.

Scheme closure

The deadline to apply for a discretionary energy rebate payment to your bank account has now passed.

We will use information already held to identify any eligible household who has not applied and will credit their Council Tax account directly with £150 by the end of November. We will write to all these households to let them know.

About the discretionary scheme

Richmond's discretionary energy rebate scheme is split into four parts.

The scheme aims firstly to plug the gap in the mandatory scheme which required a resident in a band A to D property (or Band E with disabled band reduction) to be liable for Council Tax in order to receive the energy rebate payment. There are some residents in these properties who do not directly pay the Council Tax themselves but who may still have an energy bill to pay. These will be eligible under criteria in part 1. As with the mandatory scheme, eligibility for these payments will not be means tested.

Part 1 of the scheme is now closed to new applications. This is because automatic payments of £150 posted directly onto the council tax accounts have been made for all eligible properties in bands A to D (plus band E and in receipt of a disable band reduction) that have not submitted an application for either the mandatory scheme or part 1 of the discretionary scheme to date. This is allowed by government guidance of the energy rebate schemes and has been carried out so that all payments of the mandatory scheme can be made by the cut off date of 30 September 2022. As the discretionary scheme policy allows only 1 payment per household, regardless of whether through the mandatory or discretionary schemes, further payments under part 1 are not possible.

Secondly, it is proposed that the remaining funding is directed towards those in the remaining Council Tax property bands E to H, who pay energy bills and who are on means tested benefits (Council Tax Reduction/Housing Benefit/Universal Credit/free school meals), whether they have a Council Tax liability (part 3) or not (part 2).

Finally, the discretionary scheme is extended so that it mirrors the Council Tax exemptions that were eligible for the mandatory scheme, but this time for households in bands E to H properties (part 4).

Eligibility

In all parts the applicant must be able to prove responsibility for paying energy bills.

This is a quick guide to eligibility criteria but you must read the detailed criteria before you apply. 

Quick guide - Which part of the scheme am I eligible for?
Part  Council Tax bands Liable for Council Tax? In receipt of benefits?**
1 A-D* N N
2 E-H N Y (Housing Benefit, and/or Housing element of Universal Credit, and/or means tested free school meals)
3 E-H Y Y (Council Tax Reduction, and/or Housing Benefit, and/or Housing element of Universal Credit, and/or means tested free school meals)
4 E-H Y but exempt** N


*or band E and in receipt of disabled band reduction

** Exempt from Council Tax liability: students; occupied only by severely mentally impaired; occupied only by persons under the age of 18; annex occupied by dependent relative

How to apply

There are separate application processes for those who pay Council Tax via Direct Debit and those either not liable for Council Tax or do not pay via Direct Debit.

Direct Debit payers

For parts 3 and 4 only, where we are able to identify eligibility to the scheme via Council Tax records and where the Council Tax has been paid by Direct Debit since April 2022, a payment has been automatically made into the bank account details already held. This payment will show in bank accounts by 12 August.

Non-Direct Debit payers or those not liable for Council Tax

An online application process is now open covering all parts of the discretionary scheme. Applications should be made via the online portal managed by our third party provider, GrantApproval.co.uk.

If you are liable for Council Tax (parts 3 and 4), you will need your Council Tax account reference (which can be found on your latest bill).

All applicants for parts 1 to 4, whether liable for Council Tax or not, will need their property reference (known as the local authority reference number).

Once you have submitted your application, it may take up to 28 days for your payment to be processed and approved.

We will be writing to non-Direct Debit payers identified as eligible for parts 3 and 4 throughout August 2022 inviting you to apply in case you have not already done so. We will include your Council Tax account reference and property reference in your letter.

We understand that this money is important and that those eligible will want their £150 quickly. However, we are continuing to work through the 15,000 non-Direct Debit households eligible for the mandatory scheme payments, as well as now the discretionary scheme payments. This will take time, so please bear with us.

We urge residents not to email or telephone to ask about the energy rebate at this time as this will impact on our ability to make these important payments as quickly as we can.

Apply online

Payments

Energy rebate payments will appear on your bank statement as from 'LB Richmond' and will show within ten days of your application being approved.

In taking receipt of this payment you are doing so on behalf of all occupants of the property.

Richmond Council reserves the right to reclaim any payments made if incorrectly awarded.

Payments not yet received

Based on our experience of administering the mandatory energy rebate scheme, payment can be delayed in a very small number of Direct Debit cases as we are required to validate the bank details due to one of the following reasons:

  • A Council Tax instalment was not successfully paid by Direct Debit since April 2022, meaning we have been unable to verify the bank account details
  • The name on the bank account does not match the liable party on the Council Tax account. In these cases, we are required by Government to contact the liable party to request authorisation for payment to the bank details held
  • The bank account is not registered to the Council Tax property address
  • The bank account details have already been used for an energy rebate payment for a different property and checks are required to establish whether the additional property is a second home, as these are not eligible for the energy rebate

For all of the above we will attempt to manually approve in the first instance where possible. If further information is required we will contact the claimant during August or September 2022.

Frequently asked questions

Read our frequently asked questions about the energy rebate payment.

Scam warning

We will not telephone non-Direct Debit payers to ask for bank details. Please do not provide your bank details over the phone.

Contact

For any enquiries regarding the energy rebate, email energy.rebate@richmond.gov.uk.

Updated: 16 November 2022

Stay up to date! Make sure you subscribe to our email updates.