Energy Bills Support Scheme(EBSS)
For a full list of FAQs, please click here.
What is this payment?
This is a payment of £600 from HM Government to households in Northern Ireland to help with energy bills. It is going to households who have a domestic contract with an electricity supplier.
The payment is the combined Energy Bills Support Scheme and Alternative Fuels Discount Payment Northern Ireland, funded by HM Government and facilitated by electricity suppliers and the Post Office.
When will I get the payment?
Vouchers will be delivered from 16th January onwards. Payments to customers who are on suppliers’ Customer Care Registers will be prioritised.
Delivery will be phased. Not everyone will receive it on the same date.
We expect all customers to receive vouchers by 28th February.
We will update the delivery dates as we receive information on how vouchers are being paid out. Customers are urged to redeem vouchers as soon as possible once received and strongly encouraged to deposit into bank accounts. Both of these actions will support the Post Office in a speedy and streamlined delivery.
Further details of the different payment methods are below:
Customers who pay by Direct Debit
Starting from 16th January, Direct Debit customers will:
- Receive the payment directly to their bank account.
- If suppliers have been unable to complete a direct payment for a Direct Debit customer into their bank account, then that customer will receive a voucher from the Post Office in the name of the electricity account holder.
Customers who pay by standard credit (bill pay)
Starting from 16th January Credit Customers who pay for their electricity by standard credit (bill pay) will receive a voucher from the Post Office in the name of the electricity account holder. Customers who are on suppliers' Customer Care Registers will receive their vouchers first.
Customers who pay for their electricity via a keypad meter
Starting from 16th January customers who pay for their electricity via a keypad meter will receive a voucher in the mail from the Post Office addressed to the ‘Occupier’. Customers who are on suppliers' Customer Care Registers will receive their vouchers first.
If you have not received your payment, please wait until 28th February to contact your supplier because payments will still be being made until then.
Pass through regulations
The Government recently made regulations to require that third-party intermediaries, such as landlords, who receive EBSS AFP NI must pass that support through to end users, such as tenants, in a just and reasonable way. Please find more guidance on pass-through requirements can be found at Guidance on pass-through requirements can be found at GOV.UK.
Beware of scams
The payment is automatic. Communications from any source suggesting you need to provide personal information, phone a number, or follow a link are likely to be scams.
If you pay by direct debit or if you use a keypad meter suppliers generally have all the information they need to get this payment to you. If suppliers need to contact you they will do so directly.
Exercise caution. Do not click on suspicious links. You can report messages you think are suspicious at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Energy Price Guarantee
The Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) scheme which reduces the amount you will be charged per unit of electricity will continue in 2023. HM Government has revised the level of support from January 1st 2023 it will 13.6 pence/kWh. Up until 31st December 2022 the EPG rate is 19.9 pence/kWh, this change will automatically be applied to your account.
For Billpay customers: The Energy Price Guarantee has already been applied to your bill, the revised rate will be automatically come into effect on the 1st January 2023. You do not need to take any further action.
For Keypad customers: The revised Energy Price Guarantee will be automatically applied to your account, you will receive a 40 digit code with your next top up from the 12th December to enter into your keypad meter. This will adjust the tariff in preparation
for the new rate reduction from 1st January 2023. Once you have entered your 40-digit code you do not need to take any further action.
We would like to make all our Keypad customers aware that they do DO NOT need to contact us to update their details.
Keypad customers will receive a voucher addressed to the occupier of their property which they should bring (with their keypad card or app) to the Post Office to redeem.
The payment can be made direct into their bank account if a bank card is supplied or for those without a bank or credit union account, the Post Office will redeem for cash – subject to the branch having the cash available.
For more information please see: Northern Ireland households to receive voucher support for energy bills starting in January - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Your existing and new unit rates from 1st January 2023 are as follows:
||Until 31st December 2022
||Tariff you will pay Effective 1st January 2023
|Meter Type Simpler Living:
||Current unit rate inc. EPG: 19.9 pence per kWh
||New unit rate inc. EPG: 13.6 pence per kWh
|Standing Charge (Pence per day)
* Typical bill annual consumption of 3,200 kWh exc. VAT at billpay/credit rate - defined by Consumer Council Northern Ireland
** Annual Bill consumption based on 4,200 kWh for Economy 7
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is HM government introducing the Energy Bill Support Scheme(EBSS)?
The global cost of wholesale energy has resulted in increased energy costs. HM government has introduced the Energy Price Guarantee Scheme and the Energy Bill Support Scheme to help reduce the impact of energy bills this winter.
How does the Energy Bill Support Scheme Work?
HM Government is providing a payment of £600 to help with energy bills. This includes £400 under the Energy Bills Support Scheme and £200 under the Alternative Fuel Payment scheme. We will be passing this payment automatically to all our customers in January. You do not need to contact us to receive it, and you should beware of scam messages suggesting you need to apply or provide bank details. Further details of the different payment methods are below:
Customers who pay by Direct Debit will receive the £600 in their bank account directly.
Customers who have a standard credit account (without a direct debit arrangement) or a prepay (keypad) meter will receive vouchers. They will need to take action to redeem these. We will provide more information on the voucher scheme shortly, and there is no need to contact us in the meantime.
Do I need to submit a meter reading?
You do not need to submit a meter read.
What if I can’t pay my bill?
The EBSS support scheme is still applied to your Bill
At Electric Ireland, we understand that anyone can experience financial difficulties. If you are struggling to pay your energy bills, our friendly and professional Customer Care team are here to help when and where they can. Please contact our customer care department on 0800 313 4926 or email email@example.com
What is the NI Energy Charter?
The Utility Regulator, the Consumer Council, the Department for Communities, Department for the Economy, and the gas and electricity suppliers have come together to provide households with extra support measures this winter.
Electricity and gas suppliers in Northern Ireland have voluntarily supported a new energy charter, whose development has been led by the Utility Regulator and the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland.
In signing up to this Charter, electricity and gas suppliers have agreed to:
- contribute to a hardship fund for households struggling with their bills;
- reduce the maximum debt repayment rate amount to 20%;
- ensure customers on their care registers will not be moved onto pre-payment meters, unless it is requested;
- guarantee that households will not be moved onto a pre-payment meter over the Christmas period, unless they request it;
- make sure that customers on their care registers are aware of the best tariff available; and
- all consumers will be able to avail of a single website offering clear, up-to-date information on energy efficiency and other matters
The charter can be accessed here Utility regulator charter3 (uregni.gov.uk) with FAQ on the charter here Energy Charter FAQs - final.pdf (uregni.gov.uk)
Energy charter launched to help consumers this winter | Utility Regulator (uregni.gov.uk)
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