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Council Tax Energy Rebate

This scheme has now closed and all payments have now been made. If you think you are eligible and have not received a payment then please email revenues@ashford.gov.uk.

The government has announced a £150 payment to help residents with rising energy costs. More details on how this will be paid to you is set out below.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced on Thursday 3 February 2022 that some households will receive a rebate to help with their energy bills. People paying council tax living in properties in bands A, B, C and D will receive a one-off payment of £150.

Who's eligible?

Households in Council Tax bands A-D will receive the £150 Energy Bill rebate. This means 4 out of 5 households in England will benefit, including around 95% of rented properties. However, second homes or empty properties will not benefit. If you are unsure of your Council Tax band, check your Council Tax band via your printed council tax bill, online via the government's website or contact us. More information on Eligibility is in the link below. 

+ Eligibility

The government recognises that many households will need support to deal with the rising cost of household bills in 2022-23, driven by increasing energy bills. While these rising costs will affect most households across the country, they are more likely to disproportionately affect those on lower incomes, who tend to spend a higher proportion of their income on utility bills.

To provide some immediate relief for these rising costs, while targeting those most likely to require support, the government expects billing authorities to provide a £150 one-off payment to a liable council tax payer (or an occupant where the property is exempt) where they occupy a property which meets all of the following criteria on 1 April 2022:

i. It is valued in council tax bands A to D. This includes property that is valued in band E but has an alternative valuation band of band D, as a result of the disabled band reduction scheme;
ii. It is someone’s sole or main residence;
iii. It is a chargeable dwelling, or in exemption classes N, S, U or W

This means that:

• Where the council is aware that the liable council tax payer does not occupy the property, they will not be eligible.
• Where a property is in exemption classes N (other than HMOs for council tax purposes), S, U or W and the council is able to contact an occupant, the occupant will be eligible for support.
• A property that meets all the criteria, but has a nil council tax liability as a result of local council tax support, will be eligible.
• A property that has no permanent resident and is someone’s second home will not be eligible.
• An unoccupied property (for the purposes of calculating council tax) will not be eligible.

For the purpose of the Council Tax Rebate, a household is a person or group of persons occupying a single dwelling, as defined in section 3 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992.

Eligibility should be determined based on the position at the end of the day on 1 April 2022. Where a council has reason to believe that the information they hold about the valuation list, liable taxpayer(s) or residents’ circumstances in respect of 1 April 2022 is inaccurate, they should withhold the payment and take reasonable steps to determine the correct information.

Where records relating to the liable taxpayer(s) or residents’ circumstances in respect of 1 April 2022 are retrospectively updated, councils should take reasonable steps to pay or clawback payments.

Where the property band recorded on a valuation list is amended retrospectively to 1 April 2022, for example as a result of a successful appeal made to the Valuation Office Agency (‘VOA’) that concluded after this date, councils are not required to pay or clawback payments. The exception is where a property is a new build and awaiting an official banding from the VOA. In these cases, eligibility should be determined based on the official band subsequently allocated by the VOA, where this has an effective date before or on 1 April 2022.

Where a review, proposal or appeal pre-dating the announcement on 3 February 2022 is successful after 1 April 2022 and as a result, a property would have been eligible for the rebate, councils may wish to provide support using their Discretionary Fund.

Direct Debit payer

If you are eligible for the rebate and you pay your council tax by Direct Debit, we will pay £150 directly into the bank account your Direct Debit payments are taken from. 

Payments have now been made to eligible households where an instalment was collected by Direct Debit on 1st April. If you were expecting to receive payment and the funds have not yet credited your bank account, please email revenues@ashford.gov.uk quoting your Council Tax reference number.

If you recently set up a Direct Debit, or your 1 April 2022 instalment didn’t collect, a letter was sent to you advising how to apply for the £150.00 as this cannot be automatically paid into your bank account. 

Government guidance advised that for payment to be made direct to the account held a Direct Debit must have cleared from that account in April. As the Direct Debit was not taken on this date, you have been invited to apply for the energy rebate through the application process, or can await for the credit to be applied to your account and then claim a refund.

Non Direct Debit Payer

If you don’t pay by Direct Debit, we've written to you during April with further information about how to receive your payment or for the payment to credit your Council Tax account should you wish. We will not phone or text you for this information. 

The application window for BACS payments has now closed to allow us to apply £150 credits to council tax accounts to those eligible households that have not applied. Please allow us time to complete this process during May. Once applied, a revised Council Tax bill will be sent as confirmation the energy rebate payment has been made.

All remaining eligible properties, that have not already received £150 into their bank account, have now been credited with £150 onto their Council Tax account. Revised bills will be issued week commencing 16 May 2022. Once you receive the revised bill, with reduced Council Tax instalments, there is nothing further that you need to do. 

However, if you would like the £150 refunded instead, please complete our online refund form. We will aim to process all refunds within 21 days. Once the refund has been processed you’ll receive another revised bill showing the £150 has been removed from your Council Tax account (as it has been put into your bank account instead).

Discretionary Scheme

If you live in a property in Council Tax band E, F, G or H, you may be eligible for a discretionary payment to help with your energy bills.

Find out more information about the Discretionary Council Tax Energy Rebate Scheme.

Frequently Asked Questions

+ My DD didn't take in April, why do I need to apply?

Government guidance advised that for payment to be made direct to the account held a Direct Debit must have cleared from that account in April. As the Direct Debit was not taken on this date, you have been invited to apply for the energy rebate through the application process, or can await for the credit to be applied to your account and then claim a refund.

+ I have lost my energy rebate letter, what should I do?

If we do not get a response from the letters sent 11 April 2022, credits will be applied to accounts in May and you will receive a new bill when this process has been completed. You will be able to apply for a refund of the full £150, or chose to keep the credit on your account and your future instalments will be reduced.

+ When will I receive my £150?

For residents that pay their council tax by Direct Debit, we intend to make your payment to your bank account by the end of April 2022. If you don’t pay by Direct Debit, you have been written to about how we intend for you to receive the rebate – this could be a credit to your council tax account, or a refund payment made to you.

+ I don’t pay by Direct Debit. How do I receive my £150 rebate?

All residents that do not pay their council tax by Direct Debit have been written to during April about how we intend for you to receive the rebate – this could be a credit to your council tax account, or a refund payment made to you.

+ Will I get £150 every year?

No. It is a one off payment for this year only, to help residents with their rising energy costs.

+ Can I keep the £150 on my Council Tax account and use it to reduce my instalments?

If you pay by Direct Debit, the payment should appear in your bank account by the end of April. If, however, you do not pay by Direct Debit, the £150 can be credited to your council tax account. You can then choose to either apply for a refund, or leave the credit on your council tax account and reduce your council tax instalments accordingly.

+ I’m not moving in until on/after 2nd April 2022. Will I still get my £150 Government Energy Rebate?

If you were a council tax payer elsewhere on the 1st April 2022 then you will receive the £150 at the property you were occupying on the 1st April 2022 (if in bands A-D). If you were not a council tax payer on the 1st April 2022 then you may be eligible in your new property under the discretionary scheme.

+ I’m moving out on/after 2nd April 2022. Will I still get my £150 Government Energy Rebate?

Yes. If all eligibility criteria is met, you’ll receive the £150 for where you were occupying on the 1st April 2022.

+ My landlord pays the council tax, will I still receive the £150?

If your landlord is also resident at the property then the money will be paid to them.

+ I live in a house share, who will receive the £150?

The £150 will be paid to the liable party for council tax and if a direct debit payer, to the bank account that pays the council tax.

+ My property in Ashford is my second home. Will I still receive the £150?

No. The property must be your sole or main residence to qualify.

+ My property is in band E. Will I receive the £150?

No but there is a discretionary scheme that you can apply for. Full details of this will be available on our website once the scheme details are finalised.

+ I receive Council Tax Reduction and my Council Tax charge for the year is less than £150. Will I still receive £150?

Yes. It is not a council tax payment. The £150 is an energy rebate from the government, to help people with their rising energy costs. Every resident in property bands A to D are entitled to the £150 energy rebate, even if they are also in receipt of Council Tax Reduction.

+ I am a full-time student, so I have a zero council tax bill. Will I still receive the £150?

Yes. Properties with exemptions in classes N, S, U or W are still entitled to the £150 (but only one payment per household, not per individual). We have written to these households. You can then choose to either apply for a refund, or leave the credit on your council tax account and reduce your council tax instalments accordingly.

+ I have a joint tenant. Who will receive the £150?

If the council tax is paid by direct debit, the £150 will be paid into the bank account that pays the council tax. If you do not pay by Direct Debit, we will be in contact with you in due course.

+ I’m in a band E-H property. How do I apply for the discretionary scheme?

The scheme criteria is being developed. Details will be on our website by the end of May 2022.

+ I live in a band D property and I am due to receive the £150, but I don’t need it. Can I refuse the £150 or donate it to charity?

Unfortunately, we are only able to pay this rebate direct to you. If you would like to donate it to a charity of your choice, then you are free to do that. You will need to receive the £150 payment, and forward it to the charity yourself.