Council Tax energy rebate: general scheme
We're in the final stages of delivering the rebate payments on behalf of the government, which provides eligible Council Tax payers in bands A to D (as of 1 April 2022) with a one-off rebate of £150. The scheme is now closed to new applications. The closing date was 25 September 2022.
The payment will appear in your bank account under the title ‘ENERGYREBATE’ or 'WOKING BC'.
For eligible Council Tax payers who do not pay via direct debit, letters will be posted which will include a QR code for you to scan and a web address link. Both methods will direct you to a webpage where you can complete and submit your bank details, name and address.
Please note, the details provided must match the person named on your Council Tax bill. Once your details have been received and verified, you will be paid directly into your bank account.
Thank you for your continued patience.
What is the Council Tax energy rebate?
The government announced that around 20 million households in England in Council Tax bands A to D will receive a £150 energy rebate from April 2022. The rebate does not need to be repaid.
We have also been allocated further funding to create a discretionary grant scheme which has limited funding available. We will review, consider and award discretionary grants after we have administered all payments to Council Tax bands A to D.
How do I find my Council Tax band?
If you do not know your property’s Council Tax band, you can check online.
Alternatively, you can find your Council Tax band on your bill.
Who is eligible for the Council Tax energy rebate?
You must be the person responsible at 11.59pm on 1 April 2022 and meet all of the following criteria:
- Be 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, because of the disabled band reduction scheme.
- Be someone’s sole or main residence.
- Be a chargeable dwelling or fall under exemption classes N, S, U or W – see the information below to find out more about the different classes.
- Be the person who is liable to pay the Council Tax (or would be liable if the property was not exempt) and who is not a local authority, a corporate body or other body such as a housing association, the government or governmental body.
Description of exemption classes
- Class N: Properties occupied solely by students, school or college leavers or non-British spouses of students may be eligible for an exemption.
- Class S: Properties occupied only by a person or persons aged under 18.
- Class U: Properties occupied solely by persons who are severely mentally impaired.
- Class W: Annexes or self-contained parts of a property which are occupied by dependant relatives of the occupants of the main property.
Who is not eligible for the Council Tax energy rebate?
The following properties are not 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.
- A local authority, a corporate body or other body such as a housing association, the government or governmental body who is liable to pay the Council Tax.
Please note, this rebate payment is intended to support all household members. If it is found that you are not the liable person and the rebate has been paid in error, we will seek to recover this money.
How will my household receive our £150 energy rebate?
If you pay via direct debit and set up the payment instruction before April 2022
Where we hold bank details that match the liable person(s) for Council Tax and payment is by direct debit, payment will not be made until after we have received your household’s first direct debit instalment in April 2022.
If you have paid in April, you should receive your £150 payment by the end of May 2022.
If you pay via direct debit and set up the payment instruction after 1 April 2022
If you set up your direct debit up after 1 April 2022, you may not have made your first direct debit payment for Council Tax in April. This means you will not receive your energy rebate automatically via direct debit.
Shortly, you will receive a letter which will outline the steps to follow to claim your £150 energy rebate.
Please note, it will take longer to process these payments as we are required to undertake pre-payment checks prior to payment of any grant.
We will only use your bank details to make your energy rebate payment.
I have provided my bank details online, when will I get my payment?
Councils are required to undertake pre-payment checks ahead of any payment being made to individuals that do not pay their Council Tax by direct debit to verify their identity and bank details.
As a result, applications will take time to process. We will be working through all applications as quickly as possible.
What if my April 2022 direct debit is returned?
If your direct debit is returned, your £150 energy rebate will be delayed. You will be sent a letter asking you to go online and provide your bank details before we are able to make your payment.
Can you pay the rebate direct into my Council Tax account to reduce my bill?
The government guidance is that the rebate is to help with energy costs, and we are instructed to pay the money to you directly.
Can I stop my bank from using the rebate to pay off an overdrawn account?
Yes, you can. Instead of the rebate being taken by your bank to pay off an overdraft you may have, you can tell them how you would prefer the money to be used. For example, this might be to pay for phone or energy bills.
To do this, you will need to send a letter to your bank requesting them to credit your account with the rebate of £150 and how you would like it to be spent by detailing upcoming transactions.
This process is called 'first right of appropriation' and you should add this to your letter
What happens if household circumstances change after 1 April 2022?
Where we have reason to believe that the information we hold is inaccurate regarding the valuation of your property, the liable taxpayer(s) or residents’ circumstances as at the 1 April 2022, we are within our rights to withhold the payment and take reasonable steps to determine the correct information.
If we find inaccurate records relating to the liable taxpayer(s) or residents’ circumstances (as at the 1 April 2022), we will take action to reclaim the payments.
What happens if the council tax band is changed or is incorrect?
Where a property band recorded on a national valuation list is amended retrospectively to 1 April 2022, we are not required to pay or reclaim payments. For example, an appeal made to the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) was successfully concluded after this date.
The exception is where a property is a new build and awaiting an official banding from the VOA. In these cases, eligibility will be determined based on the official band allocated by the VOA where this has an effective date before or on 1 April 2022.
How will we deal with fraud and error?
The government will not accept deliberate manipulation and fraud. Any person proved to have falsified their records to gain money, may face prosecution and any funding issued will be need to be paid back to us.
How do I report a scam?
The energy rebate creates an opportunity for dishonest actors (as known as ‘scammers’) to pose as government departments, local authorities or Council Tax rebate services in order to collect personal or banking information from citizens.
Cyber criminals use fake messages as bait to lure you into clicking on the links within their scam email or text message, or to give away sensitive information such as bank details.
These messages may look like the real thing but are false and dishonest. Once clicked, you may be sent to an unsecure and unsafe website which could download viruses onto your computer or steal your passwords.
If you think you may have been the victim of fraud or cybercrime and incurred a financial loss, or you think you have been hacked as a result of responding to a phishing message, you should report this to Action Fraud.
Where can I find out more information?
Council Tax energy rebate: discretionary scheme
We have received a small amount of funding from the government to create a Council Tax energy rebate discretionary scheme.
Launched on 6 August, this grant scheme is available to residents who are not eligible for the main energy rebate scheme, and it is targeted at low income and vulnerable households.
Via our Council Tax database, we have identified and written to qualifying residents.
Who is eligible for the discretionary scheme?
To qualify for the Council Tax discretionary energy rebate scheme:
- you must be the liable person for Council Tax at 11.59pm on 1 April 2022. If you became liable after this date you will not be entitled under the government scheme.
- you must be in Council Tax Bands E to H (£150 payment) or Bands A to D (£27.50 top-up payment) and received £150 general scheme payment. Check your Council Tax band.
- you must be your sole or main residence on 1 April 2022.
- you must have been in receipt of one of the following Council Tax reductions on 1 April 2022: Council Tax support, disabled band reduction or severely mentally impaired
- you must not be a local authority, a corporate body or other body such as a housing association, the government or governmental body.
If, after payment for the above have been made, there remains unspent funding further criteria will be set, which will target low income households.
Under the government rules no payments for this scheme can be made after 30 November 2022.