What is the Northern Ireland Energy Bills Support Scheme?
The Northern Ireland Energy Bills Support Scheme is part of a wider UK scheme announced by the UK Government to help with rising energy bills this winter.
The scheme combines two payments. A £400 payment promised by the Government to all households in the UK to help with rising energy bills. An additional £200 payment has been announced to address the high number of households in Northern Ireland that use more expensive oil to heat the home. The additional £200 will be provided to all households in Northern Ireland whether they use oil or not.
Am I eligible for the Northern Ireland Energy Bills Support Scheme?
All households in Northern Ireland with a domestic electricity account will receive a single, one-off £600 payment to help with bills and do not need to take any action to receive this support.
Payment will be administered by electricity suppliers. Households without a domestic electricity account will receive help from a separate scheme.
How much is the Northern Ireland Energy Bills Support Scheme payment?
Households will receive £600 in total in a single payment. The payment will be made either directly into your bank account if you currently pay by direct debit or in the form of a voucher for prepayment meter customers.
Do I need to apply for the Northern Ireland Energy Bills Support Scheme?
No, you do not need to take any action to receive this support and you do not need to contact your electricity supplier.
When will I receive the Northern Ireland Energy Bills Support Scheme payment?
Payments are due to be made from January 2023. It’s estimated the payments will start around the middle of January.
How will I receive the Northern Ireland Energy Bills Support Scheme payment if I have a prepayment meter?
You will receive a letter from your supplier confirming your eligibility for the voucher and a separate voucher with a barcode. The letter will be identifiable with the logo of your electricity supplier and the UK Government on it. You will not be asked to go online or to provide any personal details.
To redeem your voucher, you need to take it together with the letter from your supplier (issued with the voucher) and a proof of address to the Post Office. Your proof of address needs to be dated before 2 January 2023.
The easiest way to redeem your voucher is to pay the money directly into your bank account by taking your bank card to your local Post Office and asking them to deposit it into your account. For anyone without a bank or credit union account, you will have the option of going to the Post Office and redeeming the voucher for cash. Vouchers can’t be paid into Building Society or Monzo accounts via the Post Office, so you will need to use a different account or redeem the voucher for cash instead.
If you are depositing it into a bank account, you will need to have your bank card or account information. If redeeming for cash, photo ID will be required and the following photographic ID will be accepted:
valid UK or EU / EEA photo driving licence
Armed Forces ID card or Police Warrant card
Northern Ireland Electoral Identity Card
Translink SmartPass (Senior / 60+ / War Disabled / Blind Person)
Asylum ID card
Additional information about receiving Northern Ireland Energy Bills Support Scheme prepayment meter vouchers
The vouchers will be valid until 31 March 2023 so we suggest you use them as soon as possible.
Vouchers will be sent out from the middle of January to the end of Febuary and could arrive at any point during that time. If you haven’t received anything by the end of Febuary/early March, contact your electricity supplier as soon as possible after then.
You will not be asked to go online or provide any other details in relation to the vouchers and bank account details will not be asked for as part of this scheme.
If you have recently switched supplier, the supplier responsible for sending payment will be the one you were with on 2 January 2023.
If you have arrears on your electricity account this will have no impact on you receiving your payment or vouchers. The payment is completely separate to any arrears.