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Council Tax Energy Rebate Update

An update on the £150 payment to help pay for energy costs for those in council tax bands A to D.

Council Tax rebate for home energy costs

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The government recently announced measures to help protect millions of households from rising energy costs in 2022 to 2023.These measures include a one-off £150 non-repayable rebate for households in England in council tax bands A - D, known as the Council Tax Rebate.

This will be in the form of a payment of £150 per household. There is one payment per household regardless of the number of occupants or persons named on the bill. Councils have been set a deadline to ensure all payments are made by 30 September 2022.

We have now received government guidance and are working on this to identify qualifying recipients and make the £150 rebate payment.

The guidance states that we must verify bank account details prior to making the payment. Where we hold bank details and direct debit payments have been taken for your 2022/23 council tax bill, we aim to make payments from the end of April onwards. If we don't hold your bank details arrangements will be made for you to supply these or select an alternative method. 

Please do not telephone or email us as further updates will appear as soon as we have clearer timescale.

Council Tax Energy Rebate Update - 26 May 2022

Households across Preston that haven't yet received government payments to help with rising energy costs will receive Post Office vouchers which they can cash in to receive their Council Tax energy rebate.

To date Preston City Council has made payments of £150 totalling £4.9 million to almost 33,000 eligible households that pay their Council Tax by direct debit.

Rather than run a potentially lengthy and complicated application process, the council has decided to issue the remaining households with vouchers which can be cashed in at their local Post Office branch. This method addresses concerns that an online claim process would disadvantage large numbers of residents who are not able to easily access online services.

Commencing Monday 6 June, the vouchers will be sent over the subsequent 4 weeks, so that Post Office branches can cope with demand.

By issuing Post Office vouchers, the council is ensuring that the payments get to everyone as quickly as possible.

The vouchers will be posted to all eligible households in bands A - D that have not yet received their rebate and will be addressed to the person who is liable for Council Tax. The letter will contain instructions on how it can be cashed in.

Please do not contact the council about individual payments so staff can concentrate on processing payments.

Just as a reminder, this is a one-off payment and residents do not need to pay it back.

Eligibility

The council tax rebate will be paid to the liable council tax payer (or an occupant where the property is exempt) where the property meets the following conditions on 1 April 2022 and is not a property in multiple occupation.

  1. The property is valued in council tax bands A - D. This includes property that is valued in band E but has an alternative valuation band of band D, as a result of the disabled band reduction scheme.
  2. The property is occupied as someone's only or main home.
  3. It is a chargeable dwelling, or in exemption classes:
    • N (occupied only by full-time students), where the students are liable for payment of council tax.
    • S (occupied only by persons under the age of 18),
    • U (occupied only by persons with a severe mental impairment) or
    • W (an annex to a property occupied by the dependant relative of the person living in the main property).

Where the liable council tax payer does not occupy the property, they will not be eligible. This means that if you are a tenant of a property where the landlord is liable for the council tax bill, as the premises is a house in multi occupation for council tax purposes (this includes student accommodation in exemption class N), a council tax rebate cannot be paid. However, you may be eligible for a discretionary payment if you pay energy bills directly and your circumstances meet the criteria for the discretionary scheme.

Where a property is in exemption classes S, U or W, the occupant will be eligible for support as will exemption class N where the student/s are liable for payment of council tax and not the landlord.

Properties that have no permanent resident such as unoccupied properties or second homes will not be eligible.

Changes in circumstances

The effective date for the Council Tax Rebate is 1 April 2022. Changes made to the council tax band of your home after this date will not be taken into consideration.

The exception to this is newly built homes awaiting a valuation band. In these circumstances if the effective date is 1 April or before, a payment can be made provided all the eligibility criteria is met.

Payment

Payments must be made directly to the council tax bill payer of eligible households.

We are required to carry out pre-payment assurance checks to verify that the bank details held match the liable taxpayer named on the council tax records before issuing the payment.

Direct Debit payers

If you already pay your council tax bill by direct debit and the name(s) of the bank account held matches the name(s) on the council tax bill, you do not need to contact us.

We will make the payment to qualifying households as early as possible in the 2022 to 2023 financial year.

If the direct debit details do not match the council tax bill payer, for example the council tax bill is paid from a third-party bank account, you will need to verify the payment details or select an alternative payment method. This will be done through a secure application process.

Non Direct Debit payers

If you don't currently pay your council tax bill by direct debit you will need to verify the payment details or select an alternative payment method. This will be done through a secure application process. We will publish information on how to submit your details, when the application process opens.

Energy Rebate Discretionary fund

The government will provide funding for councils to operate a discretionary fund for households in need who would not otherwise be eligible for a Council Tax Rebate. This could include, for example, individuals on low incomes who live in properties valued in bands E - H.

Our discretionary policy is being developed and we will publish this alongside details of how to apply once the details have been confirmed.

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