Households will receive a £400 discount on electricity until October to help with rising bills.
This was done by then chancellor Rishi Sunak back in May announced that it would double the planned discount on energy bills and providing a discount to households with an electricity supply contract.
For people paying by direct debit, this will be credited to your account. But what about people with prepaid meters? What if you pay your bills through your landlord as part of your lease? People with second homes may also wonder if they are getting paid twice.
Our personal finance expert Jem Godfrey has some answers…
How will the £400 energy bill work if you have a prepaid meter?
Households with a prepaid meter topping up to pay for energy must have an energy bill of £400 applied to the meter as a credit or receive a voucher.
It is worth paying attention to three things.
First, the type of prepaid meter can affect how you receive your payment.
Secondly, it is not yet clear whether the payment will be made at once or in installments over six months.
Or will each household get £400 even if you have multiple properties? For example, those with secondary housing and vacation rentals.
Under the current scheme, every home in the UK will receive £400 for energy, even if it’s a second or third home.
It is designed for every family, regardless of need. This means that there are people who will receive the £400 payment more than once.
Will I get the £400 energy discount if the bills are included in my rent?
This is such a complex question and there is no simple answer.
You have identified the main problem with the £400 energy charge – that in some cases it depends on the good will of the landlord to hand it over.
Payment will be made only to those homeowners who have a contract for electricity supply.
People who rent and pay for utilities will receive this payment directly. The problem comes when your rent includes bills, so your name isn’t on the utility bill and you’re not paying them directly.
In this case, the only way you can get the £400 energy grant is if your landlord decides to pass it on. They can either redirect your payment or reduce your rent that month.
In any case, the tenants depend on the landlords to get any benefit.
There is no legal obligation on landlords and the government has acknowledged the issue on its website. They say they are “studying the issue” while they “continue to develop policy.”
In the meantime, it’s worth discussing this with your host to see if they’re willing to help. It’s not in your best interest if you’re struggling to pay your bills.
In any case, it’s a good idea to follow further government guidance. They said they are looking at how they will manage payments and guidance is due out in the summer.
Gemma is a business consultant, financial expert and TV presenter, an ambassador for the charity Surviving Economic Abuse and a former adviser to Arnold Schwarzenegger on The Apprentice.