Households in Northern Ireland get £600 energy bills support

Adam Scorer calls for 'targeted financial support' on energy bills

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The payment includes £400 through the Energy Bills Support Scheme Northern Ireland (EBSS NI) and the £200 Alternative Fuel Payment. The extra £200 is being provided as many homes in the region use alternative fuels.

All customers classed as vulnerable by their supplier have been prioritised to receive the payment first. This includes people of state pension age, disabled or chronically sick people, who are listed on their supplier’s Customer Care Register.

Some 500,000 households are to be sent the vouchers, out of a total of 830,000 households in Northern Ireland, reports the Belfast Telegraph.

Regulation has been introduced to ensure the support is passed on to households who pay for their energy through their rent, or via other intermediaries.

Consumers who use a prepayment meter, or keypad, who pay their bills quarterly with standard credit, will get a voucher for £600.

Those who will get the help this way are urged to look out for them in the post and to redeem them as soon as possible when they arrive.

The vouchers will come in the form of a letter, including the badge of the electricity supplier and the UK Government, with a barcode.

The letter will be from the Post Office and will be addressed to ‘the Occupier’. Delivery of the vouchers began on January 16, with delivery phases throughout January and February.

People are urged to be wary of scams and to note they will not be asked to go online or to provide any details.

Customers do not need to contact their supplier to get this voucher as it will be sent to homes automatically.

A person can easily redeem the voucher by paying the money directly into their bank account.

To do this, a customer will need to take these items with them to the Post Office:

  • Their voucher (addressed to the account holder or occupier of their home)
  • The letter from the supplier
  • Proof of address (dated between January 1, 2022 and January 1, 2023)
  • Photo ID
  • Their bank card.

People who use a keypad will also need to take their keypad card or app to the Post Office to redeem the voucher.

Any individuals who do not have a bank or credit union account can also redeem their vouchers for cash at the Post Office, as long as the branch has the cash available.

Guidance on the Government website said: “Householders are strongly advised to open an account as this is the safest way to receive the £600.”

Those who pay by direct debit will get the money paid directly into their bank account with no action required. These payments will be made from January 16 onwards.

If a supplier has not been able to complete a direct payment for a customer, they will receive a voucher from the Post Office, in the name of the electricity account holder.

Those who pay by cash, cheque or bank transfer will get a voucher from the Post Office in the name of the electricity account holder.

Delivery of the vouchers will begin on January 16 and they will be sent out in phases throughout January and February.

A person does not need to contact their supplier as they should receive their voucher automatically.

Equivalent payments will go out to households with a domestic electricity contract, such as residents of park homes or houseboats, at a later stage.

This will happen through the EBSS NI Alternative Funding scheme with more details to be set out in the coming weeks, ahead of the launch in February.

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