Your £150 energy rebate

From Cllrs Garvie and Stobart.

The scheme is aimed at providing a £150 energy rebate to those in properties banded A to D. It is not a Council Tax Rebate but is using Council Tax data to determine eligibility. The funding allocation is £6.741m (£6.531 main scheme, £0.21m discretionary) and around £4.6m has been paid out.

There are roughly 43,000 council tax payers that are eligible and a little under 32,000 payment transactions have been made. The initial payments have been made to those that pay by direct debit as the Council already holds their bank details and in the vast majority of cases these match the details of the eligible person. This makes up over 70% of those eligible. There are a handful of situations where a direct debit is not paid by the person liable for Council Tax and those will need to fall into the second tranche of payments.

For those who we do not hold bank details for, either because they qualify for Local Council Tax Support or pay by another method we will need evidence to verify that the person applying is the person eligible for the £150.

An application form will be available today for the remaining 26% to apply. There have been some issues with getting the Civica system to process the rebate correctly which is currently being addressed however this shouldn’t affect the next tranche of payments. (The necessary form can be found here: https://www.scambs.gov.uk/council-tax/150-energy-rebate/ )

Those falling into the remaining 26% will be invited to apply from next week, providing evidence of their bank account but there will be an option for the £150 to be set off against their Council Tax liability if they so wish. All these applications will need to go through a verification process using a tool called spotlight which helps verify that the information provided matches up with the person who is eligible. It is likely that some of these will require some further investigation so we are advising residents that the payment may take up to 14 days to process from receipt of an application but in many cases the payment should be made sooner.

It is important that the £150 gets to the people who are entitle to it and therefore the checks outlined above are necessary to minimise the chance of potential fraud. Reclaiming amounts back will be administratively burdensome and would fall below the normal thresholds for a full fraud investigation.

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