Millions of households are set to receive the £400 energy discount straight into their bank accounts – but it does depend on your supplier.
The energy bill discount will be paid over six months, starting from October, rather than one lump sum.
Households will see a discount of £66 applied in October and November, rising to £67 each month from December through to March 2023.
The money doesn’t need to be paid back and will be paid to 29 million homes in England, Scotland and Wales.
Similar support is expected to be announced in Northern Ireland.
British Gas – which has around nine million customers in the UK – has now revealed exactly how some households will get the money.
Most customers who pay by direct debit will receive the refund into their bank account once their original payment has gone through.
In an email to customers, British Gas said: “For direct debit customers, we’ll send the discount straight to your bank each month – like a refund – once your Direct Debit has gone through.
“For example, if your direct debit is £100 a month, you’d pay as normal. Then a few days later, £67 will be paid into your bank account.
“If your direct debit is less than £67 a month, say £50 for example, £50 will be refunded to your bank account and the remaining £17 will be applied to your energy account.”
EDF has also confirmed that customers will receive the £400 discount in the form of a bank refund.
It is down to energy companies to decide how to apply the discount for its direct debit customers.
For example, Shell Energy customers will see the six discounts deducted from their bills before their payment is taken.
Standard credit customers and payment card customers will see the discount automatically applied as credit to their account.
I have a prepayment meter – how do I get the discount?
If you have a prepayment meter, you will be sent a redeemable EBSS Energy Bill discount voucher or Special Action Messages (SAMs) from the first week of each month.
This will be issued via text message, email or post.
Once you have your discount code, you’ll need to redeem your discount at your usual top-up point – for example, at your nearest PayPoint or Post Office.
Smart prepayment meter customers will see the discount credited directly to their account in the first week of each month.
This means you shouldn’t need to do anything to get the rebate.
What other help has been announced?
If you claim means-tested benefits, there is a £650 cost of living payment.
The first half of this – worth £326 – has already been sent out to eligible households who claim Universal Credit, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, and Pension Credit.
The second half – worth £324 – will be delivered in the autumn, although no set date has been announced.
Tax credit households will receive their first payment in September, with the second half due in winter.
If you claim certain disability benefits, there is a £150 cost of living payment due in September.
Pensioners in receipt of Winter Fuel Payments will get an extra £300.
The Household Support Fund has also been extended again by another £500million.
The help on offer does vary, but can include cash grants and supermarket vouchers.
Speak to your council to see what help it offers and if you’re eligible for support.
Critics including Martin Lewis have argued that the cost of living package doesn’t go far enough.
Ministers have not issued an update on the support since May – despite predictions for the Ofgem energy price cap getting worse each week.
The MoneySavingExpert founder said: “Action & planning is needed now.
“The zombie govt needs wake up sooner than 5 Sept…
“This will leave many destitute. Tax cuts won’t help poorest incl many elderly & disabled who’ve higher usage.”