UK Government Support for Energy Consumers in Northern Ireland
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has released information on support available for energy consumers in Northern Ireland.
Below is information on all available UK Government support schemes for both domestic and non-domestic energy consumers.
For Non-Domestic Customers
Name: Energy Bill Relief Scheme (Northern Ireland)
Eligibility: Non-domestic electricity and natural gas customers who receive their energy from a licensed supplier. This includes charities, the public sector, and registered businesses. Eligible customers are those on fixed deals signed on or after the 1st December 2021, as well as those on variable, deemed, out-of-contract, flexible and variable ‘day ahead’ tariffs.
How it works: Discounts are automatically applied by suppliers to energy bills of eligible customers, covering energy usage between 1st October 2022 and 31st March 2023. The exact discount will depend on the type of contract, and when it was agreed.
The scheme will provide a pence per kilowatt hour discount. The scheme sets a government supported price of £211 per MWh for electricity and £75 per MWh for gas. The maximum discount for flexible / variable contracts is £345 per MWh for electricity and £91 per MWh for gas.
The discount is applied to the wholesale element of a customer’s bill automatically.
When: Discount will start from November, backdating to 1st October 2022. There will be an increase of discounts for NI customers to account for the month of October as discounts in GB started from October. The scheme run initially for a 6 month period with plans to review at the end of the year.
For domestic customers
Name: Energy Price Guarantee (Northern Ireland)
Eligibility: NI Households with a domestic electricity and/or gas contract.
How it works: Reduces the price energy suppliers can charge customers for units (‘kilowatt hours’) of gas and electricity. Bills will reduce by a unit price reduction of up 19.9p per kilowatt hour for electricity and 4.8p per kilowatt hour for gas.
This is a bigger reduction than in GB to reflect the fact that the scheme started a month later in Northern Ireland (November 1st instead of October 1st in Great Britain) so the higher rate effectively back dates the support.
It is the unit rate that is guaranteed not the overall bill, so the total bill will depend on how much energy is used. A typical household will save around £700 this winter based on current prices.
It will be applied to both bills and pre-payment meters automatically. There is no need for households to apply.
When: The scheme began in NI on 1st November and will run until 31 March 2023
Name: Alternative Fuel Payment (Northern Ireland) & Energy Bills Support Scheme (Northern Ireland)
Eligibility: All households in Northern Ireland regardless of how they heat their homes.
How it works: Originally two separate payments which will now be paid as a one-off £600 sum.
Customers who pay energy bills by Direct Debit will receive the £600 into their bank account directly. Other customers, such as prepayment keypad electricity meter customers, will be sent a voucher to redeem the £600 payment which can be redeemed at the Post Office by depositing into a bank, credit union, or by redeeming in cash where needed. All customers but take relevant ID and documentation with them when redeeming their voucher.
When: Payments and vouchers will start to be issued mid-January.
Name: Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding for Northern Ireland
Eligibility: NI households without a direct relationship with energy suppliers (e.g., park homes).
How it works: A one off £600 payment to eligible households who do not have a direct contract with an electricity supplier or an electricity meter of their own. These households could not receive the £600 discount directly via an electricity supplier or through a voucher. As the energy suppliers do not hold data on these households, the scheme can be applied for through an online portal or via phone.
To access the portal and for information on eligibility, search ‘energy bill support alternative funding’ on gov.uk.
Alternative, customers can ring the Northern Ireland helpline on 08081753894.
It is important to note that no links to webpages will be sent out via email and if you receive one, this could be a scam.
When: The scheme is due to launch end of February.
This page will be updated as and when new announcements on the energy support schemes are made.
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