Councils pay out more than £8 million to help with energy bills

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils have paid out more than £8 million in energy bill rebates.

All households living in properties which are in council tax bands A-D are entitled to a £150 payment.  The government is providing this money, also known as the ‘council tax rebate’, to help people with the rising costs of energy bills with the payments being made by local councils.

Over 54,000 households across South and Vale who pay their council tax by direct debit have now received the rebate payment from their district council.  They will also receive a letter confirming the payment.

Councils can pay the money directly to someone’s bank account if they are the person responsible for paying council tax at the property.  Following checks, around 70 percent of those entitled to the rebate in South and Vale were able to receive the money this way.

The councils will now send a letter to all remaining eligible households (those not on direct debit, or whose bank account can’t be matched to those liable for the council tax at the property) asking them to complete an online form to confirm their bank account details so they are able to receive the money. 

Anyone who is not able to complete the form online will be able to call a special customer service team for assistance.

Cllr Leigh Rawlins, Cabinet Member for Finance at South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “I’m really pleased that we have been able to pay the £150 rebate promptly to so many A-D band households across the district who normally pay by direct debit.  This money will make a small but significant difference to lots of families who are struggling with rising energy bills.”

Cllr Andy Crawford, Cabinet Member for Finance at Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “If you pay your council tax by direct debit, please take a look at your bank account to check that the money has arrived.  If you pay by another method, keep an eye out for a letter telling you what you need to do claim your payment.”

Further information about the rebate scheme can be found on the South and Vale websites and on the government’s updated fact sheet.

Details of a discretionary scheme to support those on low income living in council tax band properties E-H who are not eligible for the rebate will be confirmed in the coming weeks.

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