Households across Leicester will be getting help towards meeting the rising cost of energy bills, it has been announced.
People living in homes in council tax bands A to D will be getting a £150 council tax energy rebate as part of a Government scheme administered by Leicester City Council.
The money is part of funding being made available to help people cope with the rising costs of energy bills, brought about in part by the increase in the energy price cap from April 1.
Those who pay council tax by direct debit will be get the money paid automatically into their bank accounts from late April.
People who use other methods of payment will automatically receive a Post Office voucher which can be exchanged for £150 cash.
Vouchers will be issued from May onwards, and anyone who doesn’t cash them within three months will instead receive £150 credited to their council tax accounts automatically to ensure they don’t miss out.
The help is available to each household paying council tax and living in council tax bands A to D properties. It must be their sole or main residence and the must have been living there on April 1, 2022.
Over 95 per cent of city households will receive the £150 payment.
Help for people living in bigger properties in bands E to H is available for those on council tax support, or who qualify for an exemption or discount. This will also be paid automatically into bank accounts or through Post Office vouchers.
People living in households of multiple occupation (HMOs) or who moved into their current homes after April 1 may also be eligible for help under discretionary funding. Details of the funding and information on applying will be announced in May.
The payment will not be made for empty homes, second homes or non-resident landlords.
The £150 payment is a grant, and does not have to be repaid.
Leicester deputy city mayor for social care and anti-poverty, Cllr Sarah Russell, said: “This money is being made available to help support many households across the city at a time when energy prices and the cost of living are soaring.
“Many people already pay their council tax by direct debit, and they will automatically receive the £150 payment into their bank accounts over the coming weeks. Those who pay by other methods will be sent vouchers for the same value, to exchange for cash at a Post Office. If the vouchers are unused, the money will instead be paid into their council tax account.
“We have been allocated some discretionary funding to help people not automatically entitled to the £150. We are working up the full details, which will include people living in households of multiple occupation (HMOs) and vulnerable people in higher banded properties.
“The city council is administering the scheme and we will make sure everyone who is eligible for payment is helped as soon as possible.
“As part of that, I’d remind householders to be on the alert for scam callers pretending to be from the council and asking for bank details. We will never contact households asking for bank details by phone, text or email – if you are in any doubt, please get in touch with our Customer Service Centre who will be able to help.”
For more details on the rebate scheme visit: www.leicester.gov.uk/counciltaxrebate