UK Government Support for Energy Consumers in Northern Ireland

21 Nov 2022 Eva Henderson    Last updated: 21 Nov 2022

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)

Eligibility: Households in NI who use alternative fuels (e.g., heating oil) to heat their homes.

How it works: It’s a one-off payment of £200 to households that do not use mains gas for heating but use alternative fuels such as heating oil or Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).

This £200 payment will ensure that all households that do not receive support to heat their homes through the Energy Price Guarantee receive support for the cost of the alternative fuel. The Government is working with electricity suppliers to explore how the payment could be delivered via electricity bills.

Those households eligible but without a mains electricity contract through which they can be paid, will receive the £200 via the Alternative Fuel Payment Alternative Fund which will be provided by a designated body- this has not been confirmed yet.

When: There is yet to be a date set for this.

 

Name: Energy Bills Support Scheme (Northern Ireland)

Eligibility: All NI households with a domestic electricity meter.

BEIS are working with electricity suppliers to work out how best to deliver this discount. Further details to be announced.

When: There is yet to be a date set for this.

 

Name: Alternative Funding (Energy Bills Support Scheme Northern Ireland)

Eligibility: NI households without a direct electricity connection/meter

How it works: Some households do not have a direct contract with an electricity supplier or an electricity meter of their own such as (e.g., park homes), which means they cannot receive the £400 discount directly via an electricity supplier. Separate arrangements will be made to support these households.

When: There is yet to be a date set for this.

 

This page will be updated as and when new announcements on the energy support schemes are made.

The opinions, views or comments in this article do not necessarily reflect any views or policies of NICVA.

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