How your £150 council tax energy rebate will be paid

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Offices of South Gloucestershire Council in Yate.

A £150 rebate to council tax payers in South Gloucestershire will begin to be paid to householders later this month (April), and in May.

The council tax rebate for 2022/23 forms part of the government’s support to help with rising energy costs.

Those who pay by direct debit will receive the cash automatically, while those who pay in other ways will be contacted by the council to make arrangements for the money to come to them.

The final details of the scheme were agreed at a Cabinet meeting on Monday 4th April 2022 and include a range of additional, discretionary support for those who do not qualify for the national scheme, but who are still in need of support as energy costs are rising.

Most households in bands A to D will be eligible. Your council tax band is shown on your bill, but you can also visit GOV.UK to check which band you are in.

Those who pay by direct debit will, in most cases, receive the payment directly into their bank account. People who do not already pay by direct debit can set it up online through the ‘My council tax account‘ page on the South Gloucestershire Council website. This way the council will then have the bank details needed to make the £150 payment directly.

For those who do not, or do not wish to pay by direct debit, households will receive a letter towards the end of April or the start of May with details of the council will make the payment.

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The council is also offering support through a discretionary scheme which will provide the £150 rebate to:

  • People who get council tax reduction in bands E to H
  • People who get Disabled Band Reduction (DBR) in bands E to G
  • Foster carers in bands E to H
  • Care homes in bands E to H
  • Carers in bands E to H
  • People who have severe mental impairment in bands E to H
  • Households in bands E to H where there is an existing disregard as a member of the household is receiving long term care in hospital or care home
  • Students in bands E to H
  • Households in bands E to H where everyone living there is under 18 years of age
  • Night shelters or hostels in bands E to H
  • Households where everyone living there over 18 years old is on a government recognised apprenticeship scheme

The council will contact households in these categories this month (April).

For people not in one of these categories, or who are eligible for the rebate, but need more financial support, the council is also running the Community Resilience Fund (CRF). Find out more by visiting the website at: ‘Community Resilience Fund‘ page on the council’s website, by visiting one of the council’s One Stop Shops or by calling the Contact Centre on 01454 868009.

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South Gloucestershire Council’s Cabinet member for corporate resources, Cllr Ben Burton, said:

“We want to pass on the £150 rebate from the Government as quickly as possible, to help households who are facing increases in energy costs.”

“We expect to pass on around £15.4million to 102,400 households in South Gloucestershire through the scheme. The discretionary fund will see a further £337,650 allocated to more than another 2,000 households.”

“Our Community Resilience Fund is also there for families who need more help, whether or not they qualify for this rebate or other financial help that has been provided during the pandemic.”

“You do not need to contact us about the rebate, we will either pay the money to you directly, or be in touch with you to make arrangements, but if you are facing difficulties with rising energy costs, do find out more about the Community Resilience Fund and the other help that’s available.”

Although rising energy costs are affecting the majority of people, we are aware that some may wish to donate their rebate. We support Severn Wye Energy, which is a charity focussed on helping those struggling with fuel costs as well as promoting renewable energy. They provide free independent energy advice and grants to help households make changes that can help reduce energy consumption and cost.

You can donate through the Severn Wye website, and if you include a message when you donate to say you are a South Gloucestershire resident, they will reinvest the money into our local area.

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More detail on how and when you will get the £150 rebate

UPDATE added 25th April 2022.

Taken from the ‘£150 government council tax rebate‘ page on the South Gloucestershire Council website…

If you pay your council tax by direct debit

Payments have started being made into bank accounts if you pay your instalments on day 4 of each month. These are being sent alphabetically by surname and will appear on your bank statement as ‘Energy Payment’. If you pay your instalments on day 12, 20 or 25, your will receive your payment soon.

This process will take several weeks but most households that pay by direct debit will receive payments by the beginning of June. Please do not phone or email to chase your payment.

If you do not already pay by direct debit

We will start sending out letters or emails towards the middle of May with details of how you will get your rebate. These will be sent over a number of weeks so please do not contact us until the beginning of July if you have not received a letter or email.

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Further council statement (#1)

UPDATE added 26th April 2022.

From a council e-newsletter issued on Tuesday 26th April 2022:

“We are working our way through the rebates as fast as we can, this is taking longer than expected due to our finance system not being set up to process large numbers of payments to residents. Most households that pay by direct debit will receive their payment by the beginning of June. We apologise for the delay. Please do not contact us to chase your payment as it will be paid.”

“Remember to be wary of scams. We will not be contacting any direct debit customers for bank details. For customers who do not have a direct debit set up, we will be sending you a letter in the post in the next few weeks, we will let you know when to expect it. If you receive anything about the rebate and you are unsure if it is genuine, please get in touch.”

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Further council statement (#2)

UPDATE added 18th May 2022.

Response to a question asked by Cllr Adam Monk ahead of a meeting of South Gloucestershire Council on Wednesday 18th May 2022…

Question

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak is documented on several occasions as saying the £150 Council Tax Rebate would be paid by the end of April. It’s now May and I haven’t received mine yet, and I know many of my ward residents haven’t either. Why hasn’t this commitment been kept?

Answer

Since the announcement of the Energy Rebate scheme South Gloucestershire have pulled together a project team, who have worked tirelessly alongside their day-to-day roles to plan and implement a delivery option that would both meet the guidance provided and pay residents as soon as possible.

In order to make payment to the approximately 100,000 residents, the team have had to work with both internal and external system support teams to implement software that would enable us to identify eligible parties, approve accounts and efficiently move them through the method of payment. As per the guidance set out by Government, we have had to wait for each eligible property paying by direct debit (approx. 75 percent) to make a payment from the bank account details on record before issuing the rebate. South Gloucestershire offers four separate payment dates throughout the month meaning some residents would not have been approved for payment until their Council Tax payment was made in late April.

Due to the uniqueness of this scheme, during this process we became aware of limitations on the number of payments that our financial systems are able to administer for payment per day, whilst also maintaining all other functions for which the system is currently used. Because of this we have had to prioritise the payment of this rebate to those who became eligible through the date of their Direct Debit payment and then move through the rest of the payment dates in alphabetical order.

This means those that pay their Council Tax direct debits earlier in the month became eligible first and have been paid earlier.

We are still moving through the process of paying everyone as soon as possible and, as of Tuesday 17th May, we have successfully made 56,394 payments, totalling £8,459,100. We have just under 20,000 accounts left to pay, of which 12,000 will be completed this week and the rest by the end of next week.

We will continue looking at ways to increase the number of payments we are able to make per day, however as it stands, some accounts have been paid whilst others are awaiting payment.

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