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Help with energy bills – new support for those on low income in South Oxfordshire

Households on low income in South Oxfordshire will soon receive a one-off payment to help with the rising cost of energy bills.

Those living in properties which are in council tax bands E to H and who are in receipt of council tax support will receive a single one-off payment of up to £178.

Households in council tax bands A to D in receipt of council tax support, who should have already received the £150 mandatory Council Tax Energy Rebate – either paid directly into their bank account or deducted from their council tax bill, will receive a single ‘top up’ payment of up to £28.

To be eligible for this payment, households must have been resident in the property on 1 April 2022. 

The payments are being provided via the government funded Discretionary Council Tax Energy Rebate and the money does not have to be repaid.  This scheme is different to the mandatory £150 Council Tax Energy Rebate.

South Oxfordshire District Council is putting arrangements in place to make the payment to households eligible for the discretionary scheme as soon as possible.  Here’s how the payments will be made:

  • If a household pays their council tax by direct debit and passes the required validation checks –they should be able to receive the money directly into their bank account.  The district council expects to start making these payments to all qualifying direct debit households by 15 August.
  • If a household is not on direct debit or they fail the validation checks – it will take longer to make these payments as the council will need to write to the household to confirm their bank details.

To ensure the council can pay the money as quickly as possible, residents are asked not to contact the council to chase the payment please. 

All eligible households will receive their money by 28 September 2022.

Cllr Leigh Rawlins, Cabinet Member for Finance at South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “I very pleased that we can now provide this much needed support to those who are on low income, many of whom the government excluded from the first rebate scheme.

“As a council we’ve also taken the decision to use the remaining funding to provide a top-up so that all households on low income can receive the same additional support, no matter which council tax band their property has been allocated to.”

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Notes for editors

The Government has provided a limited amount of funding for this scheme based on levels of deprivation and the number of households in each district in receipt of Council Tax Support. £144 million has been made available nationally.  Councils can decide how best to make use of the money to provide payments to other households who are energy bill payers not covered under the mandatory Council Tax Energy Rebate and for carefully targeted ‘top-up’ payments to the most vulnerable households.

South Oxfordshire District Council has been provided £214,050 for this scheme.  Each low-income household in council tax bands E-H will receive £150 plus a top up payment up to £28, subject to funding available.  A top-up payment, up to £28, will also be made, subject to funding available, to those in council tax bands A-D on low income who will have already received the mandatory £150 Council Tax Energy Rebate.