When is the £400 winter fuel payment due?

Households will start receiving money off their energy bills from October

Vicky Shaw
Sunday 18 December 2022 10:33 GMT
Cost of living crisis: How much are my energy bills expected to rise?

The British government announced earlier this year that households will have £400 knocked off their energy bills this winter as part of the effort to tackle soaring bills as the cost of living crisis bites.

The policy was announced by Rishi Sunak during his tenure as chancellor, along with other measures including a £650 one-off payment for around eight million households on means-tested benefits; a £300 one-off payment to over eight million pensioner households to be paid alongside their winter fuel payment; and a £150 one-off payment for around six million people across the UK who receive certain disability benefits.

As a Tory leadership candidate vying to succeed Boris Johnson this summer, Mr Sunak promised further handouts but he was ultimately beaten by Liz Truss, who moved quickly as prime minister to freeze Ofgem’s cap at £2,500 for two years.

That has since been scaled back to just six month by new chancellor Jeremy Hunt, taking us to April 2023 when the policy will be reviewed and new measures introduced, and Mr Sunak has replaced Ms Truss in Downing Street after a disastrous seven weeks in office, which could mean that further direct help is in the pipeline.

A miserable winter is still on the cards for millions of households with inflation at a 40-year-high of 10.1 per cent, sending the price of consumer goods and fuel rocketing while wages stagnate.

Here is a look at how people will get the discount they have been promised.

How will the £400 discount be paid?

Households will start receiving money off their energy bills from October, with the discount made in six instalments.

A discount of £66 will be applied to energy bills in October and November, rising to £67 each month from December through to March 2023.

How will I get the discount?

It will be administered by energy suppliers. Those with a domestic electricity meter point paying for their energy via standard credit, payment card and direct debit will receive an automatic deduction to their bills.

Traditional prepayment meter customers will be provided with energy bill discount vouchers in the first week of each month, issued via text message, email or post, using the customer’s registered contact details. These customers will need to take action to redeem these at their usual top-up point, such as their nearest local PayPoint or Post Office branch.

Smart prepayment meter customers will see the energy bill discount credited directly to their smart prepayment meters in the first week of each month of delivery.

Suppliers will be expected to report to government the action they are taking to ensure the support has been passed on to consumers, including notifying customers in writing they have received the £400 energy bill discount and ensuring it is clearly shown on bills or statements.

Do I need to give my bank details?

No. It is important to bear in mind that scammers may use this as an opportunity to strike – just as they did when financial support was announced early on in the coronavirus pandemic and it prompted a slew of fake rebate emails and texts purporting to be from official bodies.

The government says no household should be asked for bank details at any point. Ministers are urging consumers to stay alert of potential scams and report them to the authorities.

Scam texts, for example, can be reported to 7726 and Ofcom has information about how to do it here.

Will I need to pay the money back?

No, it is non-repayable.

People who are struggling with their energy bills should contact their supplier. Ofgem rules mean suppliers must offer payment plans people can afford and customers can ask for “emergency credit” if they use a prepay meter and cannot top up.

You can find out more information about this and the schemes, grants and benefits available here.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in