£150 payment to help with rising energy costs
If you live in a property in Council Tax bands A to D, you are likely to have received a £150 Council Tax energy rebate from the government to help with the increased cost of energy bills. We made these payments on behalf of the government, to eligible households in Central Bedfordshire. One payment was made per household.
All eligible households have now been paid their £150 energy rebate
If you did not cash your Post Office voucher, £150 has been credited to your Council Tax account and you will soon be sent a revised Council Tax bill.
About the energy bills rebate
On 3 February 2022, the government announced support to help households with rising energy bills including a one-off £150 energy payment to Council Tax payers in bands A to D. All rebate payments had to be made by 30 September 2022.
This payment operated outside of the Council Tax system using Council Tax lists to identify eligible households. It was separate from your Council Tax and you must continue to pay your Council Tax instalments as normal. The rebate does not need to be repaid.
Who could get a rebate?
We made one £150 payment to a liable Council Tax payer for each eligible household, where all of the following criteria were met on 1 April 2022:
- the property was in Council Tax band A to D (this includes property that is valued in band E but has an alternative valuation band of band D, because of a disabled band reduction)
- the property was occupied and someone’s only or main home
- the person liable to pay the Council Tax (or would be were the property not exempt) was not a local authority, a corporate body or other body such as a housing association, the government or governmental
- the property was a chargeable dwelling or was in one of the eligible exemption classes
The eligible exemption classes are:
- Class N – properties occupied solely by students, school or college leavers or non-British spouses of students
- Class S – properties occupied only by a person or persons aged under 18
- Class U – properties occupied solely by persons who are severely mentally impaired
- Class W – annexes or self-contained parts of a property which are occupied by dependant relatives of the occupants of the main property
Who could not get a rebate?
The following properties were not eligible:
- second homes
- unoccupied properties (for the purposes of calculating Council Tax)
- properties where a local authority, a corporate body or another body such as a housing association, the government or a governmental body is liable to pay the Council Tax
Please note: This payment was intended to support all household members. If it is found that you are not the liable person and the rebate has been paid in error the council will seek to recover this money.
We’ve also been allocated £429,450 to create a discretionary scheme. You don’t need to apply for a discretionary scheme payment – we’re paying you automatically if you meet the criteria. All discretionary scheme payments will be made by 30 November 2022.
If you pay your Council Tax by Direct Debit
If the name(s) on the bank account we hold matches the name(s) on your Council Tax bill, we will usually pay your rebate directly into your bank account. Where a household has more than one person jointly responsible for Council Tax, payment will be made into the account where the Direct Debit is received from.
All Direct Debit payers identified as eligible for a £150 energy rebate have now been paid. The majority of discretionary scheme payments to Direct Debits have now been paid, and all payments will be made by the end of November 2022.
If you don’t pay by Direct Debit
If your household was eligible, we sent you a voucher which was valid for 3 months and could be exchanged for cash at any Post Office. These vouchers have now expired. If you did not redeem your voucher within 3 months, your £150 energy rebate has been credited to your Council Tax account.
If you were sent a voucher for a discretionary rebate, it is valid for 3 months from when we sent it to you. If you are eligible for a discretionary scheme payment and have not received a voucher, or you do not redeem your voucher before it expires, we will credit your discretionary payment to your Council Tax account.
What to do if your bank account is overdrawn
You have the right to tell the bank how you want the rebate payment to be used so that they don't automatically use it to clear your overdraft. This is called your first right of appropriation. You need to contact your bank before the payment is made.
Changes in your household’s circumstances
If we believe that the information held about the valuation list, liable taxpayer(s) or residents’ circumstances as of 1 April 2022 is not correct, we may have withheld the rebate payment whilst we took reasonable steps to establish the correct information.
Where records relating to the liable taxpayer(s) or residents’ circumstances as of 1 April 2022 are retrospectively updated, we will claw back payments where necessary.
If you receive a payment and you are not entitled
All payments are based on the Council Tax account records held at the time of payment. If your circumstances changed on or before 1 April 2022, which means you are no longer entitled or you believe our records were incorrect, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will update your Council Tax records and request you repay the payment.
Changes in your Council Tax band
The effective date for the energy bills rebate is 1 April 2022.
If you are living in a new-build home which was not banded as of 1 April 2022, we decided whether you were eligible for a rebate after your property was banded by the Valuation Office Agency. If your property was subsequently placed in band A to D as of 1 April 2022 and all eligibility criteria were met, we made a rebate payment to your household.
Government guidance stated that one payment of £150 should be made to each household regardless of the number of liable Council Tax payers. We did not split payments between joint tenants.
If you pay your Council Tax by Direct Debit, £150 was paid into the account you use to pay the Council Tax. If you do not pay by Direct Debit, you were sent one £150 voucher in the names of all liable Council Tax payers and it was for you to decide who redeemed the voucher.
Preventing rebate fraud
The government and Central Bedfordshire Council will not accept deliberate manipulation and fraud.
Any person caught falsifying their records to gain money will face prosecution and any funding issued will be subject to clawback, as may any grants paid in error. We carry out pre-payment checks on all rebates.
Don’t be fooled by scams – you don’t need to fill in an application for the rebate and we won’t phone you to ask for your bank details. Help us to prevent fraud: report scams to Action Fraud online, or call 0300 123 2040.