Energy bills rebate

£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 receive a £150 Council Tax energy rebate from the government to help with the increased cost of energy bills. We are making these payments on behalf of the government, to eligible households in Central Bedfordshire. One payment will be made per household.

You will not need to apply for the rebate

We will issue payments or vouchers automatically to eligible households. You will not need to make an application.

Please do not phone or email us about the rebate. We will update this website as soon as we have further information.

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.

Read the government’s Council Tax Rebate flyer (PDF)

This payment will operate outside of the Council Tax system using Council Tax lists to identify eligible households. It is 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.

We've also been allocated £429,450 to create a discretionary scheme to help those who aren’t eligible for the main scheme. We will update this page when the discretionary scheme has been agreed.

Who can get a rebate

We will make one £150 payment to a liable Council Tax payer for each eligible household, where all of the following criteria are met on 1 April 2022:

  • the property is 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 is occupied and someone’s only or main home
  • the person who is liable to pay the Council Tax (or would be were the property not exempt) is not a local authority, a corporate body or other body such as a housing association, the government or governmental
  • the property is a chargeable dwelling or is 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

If your property is in one of the eligible exemption classes, this will be shown on your Council Tax bill.

Who cannot get a rebate

The following properties are not eligible:

  • second homes
  • unoccupied properties (for the purposes of calculating Council Tax)
  • properties where a local authority, a corporate body or other body such as a housing association, the government or governmental body is liable to pay the Council Tax

Please note: This payment is 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.

Due to limited funding, it is not possible to provide support to all households in Council Tax bands E to H. If you live in a property in band E to H, you may be eligible for a discretionary payment to help with your energy bills.

Our discretionary rebate scheme, for households that may not be entitled to a main scheme payment, is currently being developed. Once the scheme has been approved full eligibility criteria will be published on this website along with details of how payments will be made. This is not expected to be until early June.

How the rebate will be paid

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 £150 directly into your bank account. You do not need to contact us and we will make payment as soon as possible. We have started making payments. Due to the large number of households we need to pay, payments are being staggered over the next few weeks.

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.

If you don’t pay by Direct Debit

For all other eligible households we will send a letter to you, enclosing a voucher. The voucher will be valid for 3 months and can be exchanged for cash at any Post Office. The letter will explain what identification you will need to take with you. If you do not redeem your voucher within 3 months, it will be cancelled and we will credit £150 to your Council Tax account.

Where a household has more than one person jointly responsible for Council Tax, the letter will be addressed to all liable Council Tax payers. The payment is being provided to support all residents of the household and it will be up to the household to decide which person redeems the voucher.

We hope to start sending vouchers out by the end of May 2022.

What to do if your bank account is overdrawn

You have the right to tell the bank how you want the £150 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.

How to exercise your first right of appropriation.

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 will withhold the rebate payment and take 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

The payments will be made 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 energyrebate@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk.

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 will decide whether you are eligible for a rebate after your property has been banded by the Valuation Office Agency. If your property is subsequently placed in band A to D as of 1 April 2022 and all eligibility criteria are met, we will make a rebate payment to your household.

Joint tenants

Government guidance states that one payment of £150 should be made to each household regardless of the number of liable Council Tax payers. We will not split the £150 payment between joint tenants.

If you pay your Council Tax by Direct Debit, £150 will be paid into the bank account that is used to pay the Council Tax. If you do not pay by Direct Debit, you will be sent one voucher for £150 in the names of all liable Council Tax payers and it will be for you to decide who redeems 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 will 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 by reporting scams to Action Fraud online or by calling 0300 123 2040.