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Cambridge City Council

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Energy rebate

Last updated: 20 July 2022.

The deadline to submit bank details has now closed

We have now paid the national £150 energy rebate direct to bank accounts to over 29,650 account holders in Cambridge. Hundreds more payments are being cleared for payment every week.

We have also credited over 10,500 Council Tax accounts with £150 Energy Rebate where we couldn’t pay direct to bank accounts.

For those who do not pay by direct debit

If we have written to you with an access code this code has now expired and the £150 will now be credited to your Council Tax account.

Frequently asked questions

Who is eligible for the national energy rebate?

You are eligible for the national £150 energy rebate if, on 1 April 2022, all of the following statements applied to you:

  • You are someone (not a business, organisation or government body) registered with us as liable for paying council tax (or you would be liable if the property was not exempt from council tax).
  • Your home in Cambridge is in council tax band A to D, whether or not council tax is charged. Any band E property paying the equivalent of band D (where Disabled Band Reduction is applied) is also eligible.
  • The property is occupied and is someone’s sole or main residence.
  • The property is a chargeable dwelling for council tax purposes, even if one of the following exemptions applies: class N (where all the occupants are students), class S (where all the occupants are all aged under-18), class U (where all the occupants are severely mentally impaired) or class W (where an annexe is occupied by elderly or disabled relatives). Accounts in receipt of Council Tax Reduction (CTR) will be eligible for the energy rebate.

You are not eligible if, as of 1 April 2022, the property was unoccupied, classed as a second home or a house in multiple occupation (HMO). (For Council Tax and energy rebate purposes, we class a property as an HMO if each person who lives there pays rent separately or has an agreement that only lets them occupy a part of the property.)

If records of household circumstances as at 1 April 2022 are updated retrospectively and, as a result, the person liable for the council tax becomes no longer eligible for the national energy rebate, any rebate already issued would need to be paid back.

Only one national energy rebate will be made per eligible household. Recipients are reminded that the energy rebate is expected to benefit all members of the household who contribute to paying energy costs.

Am I eligible if I don’t pay council tax?

As long as you can answer yes to the eligibility criteria above, you are eligible even if you do not pay any council tax. Examples are:

  • You receive council tax reduction because you are on a low income which may also combine with a discount, so you have no council tax to pay
  • You have an exemption because all the people living in the property are students, are aged under 18 or are all severely mentally impaired.

As you have no council tax to pay, we will not hold direct debit information and will need to contact you for your bank details so we can make a payment.

What if I have moved house since 1 April 2022?

Your eligibility for the energy rebate relates to the property for which you were the council tax account holder on 1 April 2022 and is your main or sole residence.

If you have not moved in by 1 April 2022, you are not entitled. If you were responsible for council tax somewhere else on 1 April 2022, you will need to contact that Council for help.

If you moved out after 1 April 2022, even if a few days after 1 April 2022, you are entitled if the other eligibility rules apply.

If you have moved since 1 April, visit manage your council tax account and check your bill to update your details. It is important that we have your latest contact details (including email address).

When will the energy rebate be paid?

We are paying eligible council tax account holders as quickly as possible at the same time as making sure we follow national rules on preventing fraud.

The approach we take to paying the energy rebate to depends on whether eligible council tax account holders pay their council tax by direct debit or whether we have to contact account holders to seek their bank details.

In all cases, we have to check for a match between the account holder details for council tax and bank accounts before we can issue payments. Where eligible account holders have to provide their bank details for the energy rebate, councils have to run additional pre-payment checks to verify the bank details. It can take some time to get the results back.

If the bank details pass the pre-payment checks, payment will be made to that bank account in the following weeks.

If the bank details do not pass the pre-payment checks, further checks will need to be made but it is likely that the Energy Rebate will be credited to the Council Tax account rather than bank account. This process may take a several weeks from us being notified of a pre-payment check failure, but we are aiming to get these credits on to your Council Tax account by week ending 22 July 2022. 

We are not given a reason why a check didn’t pass. The criteria is very tight and may be because of a number of reasons including:

  • an old bank account
  • a very new bank account
  • minor mismatch on name or address
  • not all banks have signed up to the checking process

There is no indication when the details are sent back to us of the reason why the check was not successful, but please do not be alarmed, it just means that for this process, the rebate will be credited to your council tax account rather than to your bank account. If this happens, we will send you a new Council Tax bill

We are working hard at reducing these timeframes as much as possible whilst safeguarding against error and fraud.

I pay council tax by direct debit, so why haven’t I received my energy rebate yet?

We are dealing with a few thousand cases where eligible account holders who pay their council tax by direct debit could not be paid their energy rebate earlier. We are making further checks to resolve such cases as soon as possible. Here are two of the most common reasons.

One reason is where the name of the account holder for the council tax account and bank account have not matched exactly (possibly, due to different surnames or spellings or because we have no record of your first name). If we need further information from you, we will contact you. We aim to resolve many of these cases soon.

Another reason is where the April 2022 council tax instalment was not paid by your current direct debit. If you have set up a new direct debit or have changed bank accounts after 1 April 2022, provided we have collected a council tax instalment by that new direct debit by now (and there is a clear name match), we will issue your £150 energy rebate soon.

What if I’m eligible but don’t pay my council tax by direct debit?

We have contacted eligible account holders who don’t pay their council tax by direct debit (over 17,000 accounts to contact) in order to get their bank details securely for the energy rebate payment. We have already sent letters and emails to several thousands of cases with a secure access code. If you did not submit your details, this code expired at the end of 11 July 2022. We will be crediting the £150 Energy Rebate to Council Tax accounts by week ending 22 July 2022.

Why haven’t I received my access code yet?

We have sent out access codes (to eligible council tax holders from whom we need their bank details) in a number of phases now.

If you have not heard from us, please double check the eligibility criteria carefully before contacting us.

What should I do if I can’t log in using the access code?

The access code expired at the end of 11 July 2022, please do not try to use it. We will be crediting the £150 Energy Rebate to Council Tax accounts by week ending 22 July 2022.

How can I keep control of my £150 rebate if my bank account is overdrawn?

‘First Right of Appropriation’ gives you the right to tell your bank or building society how you want the money paid into your account to be used. You may want to do this if money is due to be paid into your account and the account is over-drawn or there are bills or other payments due to be paid from it. You can instruct your bank not to use specific payments made to your account. You can also ask that certain amounts paid into your bank account are used to pay specific bills. Further information and a sample letter are available from National Debtline.

I do not qualify for the Energy Rebate scheme, what other support is there?

If you do not qualify for the National Energy Rebate Scheme, it is possible that you will meet the criteria for the Local Scheme (see below).

You can also find more information on other forms of financial support on our Cost of living help page.

What are the criteria of the Local Scheme?

The Government has made available around £245,000 for the Council to run a local energy rebate scheme. The Council is keen to use this to provide further targeted support for households in Cambridge that are in particular need.

  • Around 6,450 households in receipt of Council Tax Reduction who live in Council Tax Bands A to D will receive an additional £22.50. If the original Energy Rebate was credited to a bank account, the additional £22.50 will also be credited to the bank account. If the original Energy Rebate was credited to the Council Tax account, the additional £22.50 will be credited to the Council Tax account.
  • It also enables the Council to give £172.50 to approximately 275 Council Tax Reduction households in Council Tax bands E to H that miss out on the national scheme because their home is in a higher council tax band.
  • A £150 rebate to over 250 households (with disabled band reductions or certain types of council tax exemptions) that miss out on the national scheme because their home is in a higher council tax band.

For the last two groups, where the household pays their Council Tax by Direct Debit and payment for at least one installment in 2020-2023 has been made, we will credit the Local Scheme award to that Bank Account (subject to name checks).

If the household does not pay by Direct Debit, we will contact them by letter during August asking for bank details. These bank details will need to be checked and if they pass, the credit will be paid to the bank account. If the checks are not successful; a credit will be made to the Council Tax account.

The process of awarding the Local Energy Rebate Scheme awards will start at the beginning of August where bank details are known.

Full details of the Local Energy Rebate Scheme can be found here. [PDF, 0.2MB]

If I don’t want a £150 energy rebate that I have been paid, can I return it?

Yes. If you wish to repay your £150 payment, email energy.rebate@cambridge.gov.uk and we will tell you how to do so. We will return it to central government at the end of the scheme. Please note that councils are not permitted to use the national energy rebate to support other households not covered by the national scheme.

Alternatively, have you thought about donating the £150 to charity? The Localgiving website allows you to search for local charities or you may know of one yourself that you might want to support.

If my property is not within the city of Cambridge, who do I need to contact about my energy rebate?

When should I contact the council about my energy rebate?

If you are concerned that we have not contacted you yet about your energy rebate, please try to hold on for the next three to four weeks because we are likely to be in touch with you within that time. Please note that, to help us to serve everyone as quickly as we can, we won’t be able to meet any individual requests to be served more quickly.

If you wish to contact us, please remember to tell us your name, address and Council Tax account number.

Other useful links

You may be entitled to benefits or other support – read our debt and money advice.

See also home energy and water use for more information on improving energy efficiency and reducing energy use.