Households in Northern Ireland are now getting £600 to cover their energy bills – regardless of how they heat their home.
Payment requests officially start today (January 16), although some have arrived earlier, and the rollout will be staggered over four weeks.
Energy consumers will be the first in the UK to receive the full payment package on offer – £400 in energy support and £200 in recognition of the high proportion of households here (68%) using heating oil.
What does the payment include?
The payment consists of the Energy Bills Support Scheme (£400) and the Alternative Fuel Payment (£200) and is provided by the UK Government through electricity suppliers.
Payment is automatic.
If you receive a message asking for your bank details, this could be a scam. You can report messages that you think are suspicious.
Who is Eligible?
All households with a household meter and an electricity contract are eligible.
Households without household meters or with an electricity contract outside the household will also receive a payment of £600 this winter.
These households include:
- residents of parking garages,
- some nursing home residents,
- tenants in certain types of private and social rental housing,
- Households served by private lines,
- Residents of caravans and houseboats on registered sites,
- Farmers living in domestic farmhouses without domestic electricity; and
- Households disconnected from the power grid.
How do I receive payment?
You receive payment in different ways depending on how you pay for your energy.
Customers with a household electricity meter and a household electricity supply contract automatically receive payment from their electricity provider.
You don’t need to apply for payment and you don’t need to contact your electricity supplier.
Customers with a standard credit account (bill payment).
Your voucher will be addressed to the named account holder in the form of a letter with a barcode.
If you receive a voucher with the wrong name, you should contact your supplier who will cancel the wrong voucher and issue a new voucher with the correct name.
Customers with a prepaid meter (keypad).
Your voucher is in the form of a letter with a barcode addressed to the “Occupier”. You don’t need to update it to the named account holder.
If your landlord is the named account holder, but you top-up the Keypad meter yourself, then you are the intended recipient. The payment is intended to support household energy bills.
How do I redeem a voucher?
You can only redeem the voucher at a post office.
The Post can either:
- Deposit payment directly into your bank account when providing your bank card. This is the preferred option as it is the most secure. Post offices can accept deposits from most major banks except Monzo and the Nationwide Building Society; or
- Provide cash, subject to cash availability at your post office. Please note that if you take payment in cash and then it is stolen or lost, the payment will not be repeated.
What do I have to take with me to the post office?
1. The letter with the voucher.
2. Proof of address – this must show your address and be dated between 1st January 2022 and 1st January 2023. Acceptable proofs of address include (but are not limited to):
- a utility bill such as telephone, water, electricity or television license,
- Statement of account,
- rental or mortgage contract; or
- Letter from a UK Government or Northern Ireland Authority.
3. If you request payment to an account, you will need your bank card and/or account details.
4. Photo ID – only required if redeeming your voucher for cash.
Your ID must be valid at the time of redeeming your voucher and be one of the following:
- UK or EU/EEA driving license with photo,
- Bundeswehr ID card or police ID card,
- Northern Ireland voting card,
- Translink SmartPass (Senior / 60+ / War Disabled / Blind); or
- asylum card.
If you do not have photo ID, you should either:
- Apply for Photo ID – see Applying for a Voter ID; or
- Contact your electricity supplier to redeem for cash.
5. Only Keypad customers need to bring their Keypad app or top-up card along with their voucher and proof of address. If you are unable to provide your top-up card or app, you will not be able to redeem the keypad voucher.
Can I nominate someone to collect the voucher on my behalf?
If you are unable to get your voucher in the mail, you can designate someone to redeem it on your behalf.
You must complete the template on the back of the voucher to authorize the person you designate in writing to redeem your payment.
In order to collect payment on your behalf at the post office, the nominated person must:
- the voucher with the completed power of attorney,
- your photo ID and proof of address,
- your photo ID,
- Your bank details if the payment is made to your account,
- If you are a Keypad customer, they will need to show your Keypad app or top-up card.
If you pay for your electricity as part of your rent
Your landlord may resell the electricity to you based on your usage, in which case they must comply with regulations that require third-party intermediaries such as landlords to pass on support to end users such as renters in a fair and reasonable manner.
https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/nis-energy-and-fuel-payment-everything-you-need-to-know-about-getting-600-42288150.html NI Energy and Fuel Payment: Everything you need to know to get £600