MILLIONS of families will receive a £400 energy bill discount – but thousands could get it twice.
Former Chancellor and wannabe Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced that every household in the UK would get £400 to pay for their energy bills.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has confirmed that payments will begin being dished out in October.
Energy suppliers have been instructed to pay households the discount – which they won't have to pay back – in six instalments.
A discount of £66 applied to energy bills in October and November, rising to £67 each month from December through to March 2023.
But it has been revealed that some people will be paid the £400 help more than once – we explain who will cash in and who will miss out.
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Who will be paid twice?
Over 29 million households will be eligible for the discount which will be automatically taken off their energy bills – but not in a way people expected.
It's up to energy firms to administer and distribute the discount directly to their customers, which will be done in six instalments.
If you own more than one property, you'll get a £400 payment for each home you own.
Anyone with a second home could get the benefit twice.
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While landlords who own a portfolio of properties could be paid multiple times – once for each home they own.
Most households that have a standard domestic electricity meter and pay their energy via standard credit, payment card and direct debit will receive the automatic deduction to their bills.
Those using a traditional prepayment meter will have to take action to get the cash.
They'll need to redeem discount vouchers sent by their energy firm at their usual top-up point.
You won't be asked to provide your bank details at any point.
Who will miss out?
Not everyone will get the £400 cost of living payment.
If you don't pay your energy bills directly, or you live on a site where the utility is already provided, you won't get the money off straight away.
For example, if your landlord is in charge of the direct debit for your energy bills, they will be named on the bill and get the cash directly.
If you pay an "all-in" fee that includes rent and utilities like water and energy, the discount should be handed over to you, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy said.
But it could be up to the landlord's own discretion whether they pass this on through lower rent that month or not.
You may live in a park home, which means you pay a "pitch" charge to the owner of the site in order to be there.
Normally it lets you use the facilities like onsite bathrooms, or rig up to generators provided.
The site manager will get the £400 energy bill cash help – not you.
Although they may decide to lower what you pay that month.
The government has confirmed that further funding will be available to provide equivalent support of £400 for energy bills for the 1% of households who will not be reached through the energy bill support scheme.
An announcement with details on how and when these households across Great Britain can access this support will be made this Autumn.
Help if you're struggling with your energy bills
Your first step should be to contact your energy supplier.
They may be able to change your payment plan or check if you're eligible for their hardship fund.
For example, British Gas and Octopus have set up funds worth up to £750 to help customers who are struggling with their bills.
You can also search for charity grants that help you pay for gas and electricity bills.
There's more help from the government on the way too, later in the year.
Those on Universal Credit and certain benefits will get a £650 one-off cost of living payment.
You can also apply for help through the Household Support Fund.
Thousands of pensioners in Reading for example can get up to £98 off their energy bills with the cash payment.
More money has been added to the pot, which means more families will be able to access the help.
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It comes as Ofgem has warned that energy bills could hit £2,800 in October.
Meanwhile a payment of £300 will go to low-income pensioners and £150 extra is heading to those with certain disabilities too.
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