More than 90,000 households in Central Bedfordshire could receive £350 of government support to help protect them from rising energy costs.
Today (Thursday, February 3), Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a £9.1 billion Energy Bills Rebate to support families with rising global energy prices.
Recognising that growing cost of living pressures was the “number one issue on people’s minds”, Rishi Sunak said this package would support hard-working families.
Cortney Batchelor jailed for four years over '˜one punch' fatal attack
Leighton Buzzard commuters: no service on any LNR route this Saturday due to strike
More than 400 potential victims of modern slavery identified in Bedfordshire last year
Have your say over plans to increase walking and cycling in Central Bedfordshire
Firefighters from across Central Beds douse blazing field in Totternhoe
The Energy Bills Rebate will provide around 28 million households across the UK with an upfront discount on their bills worth £200.
Energy suppliers will apply the discount to domestic electricity customers from October, with the Government meeting the costs.
The discount will then be automatically recovered from people’s bills in equal £40 instalments over the next five years. This will begin from 2023, when global wholesale gas prices are expected to come down.
Households in England that are in council tax bands A-D, will also receive a £150 rebate. The rebate to bills will be made directly by local authorities from April.
This will not need to be repaid.
This one-off payment will benefit around 90,721 households in Central Bedfordshire.
On top of this discount, discretionary funding of £144 million will also be provided to support vulnerable people and individuals on low incomes that do not pay council tax, or that pay council tax for properties in Bands E-H.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said: "Right now, I know the number one issue on people’s minds is the rising cost of living.
"That’s why the Government is stepping in with direct support that will help around 28 million households with their rising energy costs over the next year.
"We stood behind British people and businesses throughout the pandemic and it’s right we continue to do that as our economy recovers in the months ahead."
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "During the pandemic this Government has acted decisively to protect jobs and livelihoods, particularly for those on the lowest incomes.
"But today we recognise the real and growing concerns people have about the cost of living – and once again we are taking action.
"We are delivering a new package of targeted support to help with the financial pressures felt by families right across the country, with additional help for those most in need.
"This builds on the changes we’ve made to Universal Credit to put £1,000 more per year into the pockets of hardworking people and the increase to the National Living Wage to advance our vision for a high-wage and financially secure Britain."
The support package comes after energy regulator Ofgem today (Thursday) announced an increase to the energy price cap as a result of the soaring global wholesale price of gas, which has quadrupled in the past year.
This will see almost a £700 increase in energy bills for the average household from April 1 - but, as a result of the targeted Energy Bills Rebate, the vast majority of households will receive £350 to reduce this cost.
The Chancellor also confirmed plans to go ahead with existing proposals to expand eligibility for the Warm Home Discount by almost a third so that three million vulnerable households will now benefit, as well as the planned £10 uplift to £150 from October.
This follows a consultation by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to reform the policy so that more people will benefit.