Energy payment to Council Tax payers

The Government has announced that Council Tax payers in Bands A to D will receive a £150 payment to help with energy bills.

Please note: This will not be taken off your Council Tax bill but will instead be given to you as a separate payment.

Over 50,000 people who pay their Council Tax by Direct Debit have received their payments into their bank account. Unfortunately there were some residents, who pay by Direct Debit, where payments could not be paid into their bank accounts.

These residents, along with all the residents who do not pay by Direct Debit but are eligible for a payment, are now being paid by vouchers issued by the Post Office.

The Post Office are sending the vouchers out in batches of 5,000 each week. Nearly 30,000 vouchers are being issued throughout June and July. 

The vouchers will be sent to households via post and can be redeemed at local Post Offices. They are being issued in a random order and so please do not worry if your relative or neighbour has received theirs.

We ask residents to remain patient and not to contact us until all the vouchers have been issued. Once all the vouchers have been issued, we will update this webpage and also include an application form for the Council’s Discretionary scheme. 

We will not call any residents to ask for their details over the phone. If someone rings you for this purpose, do not give your details to them. 

Discretionary scheme

We will shortly open a discretionary scheme to help a number of residents who were not eligible for the £150 under the Government’s mandatory scheme. An online application form will be available on this webpage in the next few weeks. The following groups of residents will be eligible to apply for £150 payments:

  • Residents who reside in properties where the landlord pays the Council Tax (Band A to D) or Houses of Multiple Occupation or hostels where tenants have to pay energy bills or contributions to energy bills. Tenancy agreements and energy bills in their own names should be provided as part of the application.
  • Residents who live in a property with a Council Tax band that is reduced to a band between A and D from a higher band in the period up to 31 August 2022
  • Residents who reside in a property with a Council Tax band E to H that is occupied by a single person over State Pension age (66 years old)
  • Residents who reside in a property in Council Tax band E to H who have a ‘household’ annual income below £30,000 and savings of less than £5,000. Those in receipt of Council Tax Support will be sent letters with vouchers to be redeemed at local Post Offices and so do not need to apply. 
  • Residents who moved into a Council Tax band A to D property in April or May who have not had a £150 energy payment previously on a former property

Further details and the online application form will be available on this webpage soon.

As shown above, the following persons will automatically receive a discretionary award and so do not need to make an application: 

  • Recipients of Council Tax support (formerly known as Council Tax Benefit) who reside in a Council Tax band E to H property. These residents are known to the Council and will be automatically sent a letter with a voucher to redeem at the Post Office.

Further information on the payment is also available in the £150 government energy payment leaflet.

Conditions of payment

By accepting and receiving payment you agree to the following and understand you should repay the £150 if these conditions do not apply:

  • You were resident in the property on 1 April 2022 for which you are the registered Council Tax payer and for which payment has been sent (and so you were not residing elsewhere and the property was not empty)
  • The property 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.

Overdrawn bank accounts

If the funds are being paid into a bank account that is ‘overdrawn’ and you do not wish the payment to reduce your overdraft, you can ask your bank to apply the funds against a particular bill (such as an energy bill) or use for a certain purpose. This is known as the ‘first right of appropriation.’

You should advise your bank that you are receiving a payment of £150 at the end of April or in May and that you wish it to be used for a specific purpose.

Returning the £150 payment

We urge residents to use the funds to help towards paying their energy bills. However, if you wish to return a payment or you are not eligible, you can return the money to our bank account as shown below:

Account name
Swindon Borough Council collection account
Sort code
309841
Account number
79041360
Reference
Your name and “returned energy payment”

If you moved house before 1 April 2022 you should tell us about your change of address in addition to repaying the amount as specified above.

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