We explain what the Energy Bills Support Scheme is, how you'll get your payment and answer any questions you have.

What is the Energy Bills Support Scheme?

The Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS) is a non-repayable discount of £400 from the government, that every household with a domestic electricity connection will start to receive from October 2022 to help offset the higher energy bills.

In May 2022 the government announced the £400 scheme, along with a number of other cost of living support initiatives that are available to those hit worst by the high cost of living, such as pensioners and low income households.

If the government makes any further announcements about the Energy Bills Support Scheme we will update these pages.

How do I get the £400 energy payment?

The government has announced (29 July) more information around how you will receive the Energy Bills Support Scheme payment. Importantly, you don't need to apply for the scheme, all households will start to receive £400 off their energy bills from October 2022.

Each energy supplier has been asked to pay customers who have an electricity supply, so this means if your electricity is with us, you'll get your payment from Sainsbury's Energy. If you only have your gas with us, then you'll get your payment through your electricity supplier.

You'll see a discount of £66 applied to your energy bills in October and November, and £67 a month from December to March 2023.

We'll be paying the money differently, depending on how you pay for your energy now:

  • Fixed Direct Debit customers will receive the money automatically as a deduction to their monthly Direct Debit.
  • Customers who pay on receipt of bill (by cash, cheque or variable Direct Debit) will see the money automatically applied as a credit to their energy accounts in the first week of each month. This will show as a credit in the payments section of their monthly bill.
  • Smart prepayment customers will see the money credited directly to their meters as a top up in the first week of each month.
  • Traditional prepayment customers will be provided with vouchers in the first week of each month. You'll need to redeem these at your usual top-up point in a similar way to the Warm Home Discount.

It's worth noting that, whilst the government has announced this 29 July 2022, we're still waiting on the finer details from the government and will update our pages when we know more.

Do I need to repay the EBSS money?

No, this is a non-repayable discount to eligible households to help with energy bills from October. When the government originally announced the grant, they did say that the costs would be recouped over several years, however this has now been scrapped. You will not need to pay back the £400.

How will the EBSS be paid for?

The cost of this Energy Bills Support Scheme will be partly covered by a windfall tax on oil and gas company profits, which should raise about £5 billion over the next year.

This will cover some of the bill, however the Treasury will need to use other funds to pay for this too.

Can I opt out of getting the EBSS?

Currently all households with a domestic electricity connection will be automatically eligible for the £400.

We're looking at options for customers who want to give the money to charity or who don't want it, and we'll be able to provide more information at the start of October.

Get answers to your EBSS questions:

Why can't I have the full £400 now?

The government is giving energy suppliers the money in 6 monthly installments to pass onto customers, so it's not possible to get the full amount all in one lump sum.

Can I have the money refunded into my bank account instead?

The money is being set aside by the government to help with winter bills and the upcoming price cap, therefore the money should go towards paying for energy.

In line with our credit refund policy we would need a meter reading so we can bill you up to date and understand your true balance.

We can refund the credit as long as this doesn't put you into arrears. However, it's important to note the increase in cost will likely mean any credit built up now will be used towards winter usage, so refunding that now may impact you later in the year and into the beginning of next year.

Can I use my PPM voucher to top up at my usual top up point?

Whilst the government website does suggest this is going to be possible. It's likely that all vouchers across the industry (and not just Sainsbury's Energy) will only be redeemable at a Post Office, therefore you'll need to use a Post Office to top up.

Can I give my PPM voucher to someone else to use?

The government is keen for every household to use this money on their energy and therefore the voucher is only for use for the household it was intended for.

The Post Office will ask for confirmation of address via a utility bill or driving licence for the vouchers to be redeemed.

Can I use my PPM voucher for my gas bill?

The Post Office vouchers are going to be completely interoperable - this means that although vouchers are for the electricity meter, customers will be able to use their voucher on their gas meter even if this gas meter is with a different supplier.

For Pay As You Go customers, we'll split the amount between your electricity and gas meters if you have both.

Will this impact my Warm Home Discount payment?

No, the Warm Home Discount scheme is completely separate. Please look out for more details about next winter's scheme.

Where can I get more information about this?

You can find out more information about the Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS) on the government website.

What extra help is there for the winter bills?

Alongside the £400 scheme, households that receive the Winter Fuel Payment (which is paid to nearly all homes with at least one person of pension age) will receive an additional £300 in November or December.

There are also other cost of living payments such as £650 for low income households.

Struggling to pay your bills?

This is a worrying time for everyone as the cost of energy continues to go up. We understand that you may be struggling to pay. Here's where you can find support:

Talk to our Energy Specialists if you are having difficulty.

Our Energy Specialists are here to help if you are concerned about the impact of the price cap rise on your energy bills. If you are struggling to pay, please visit our help page to find out more about how we can support you.

You can reach out to our Energy Specialists for personal advice on Facebook and Twitter, or send us an email: hi@sainsburysenergy.com.

Debt advice resources.

There are also external debt advice resources you can get through Citizens Advice and StepChange.

If you are also worried about how money can have an impact on your mental health. We advise you to talk to our charity partner Mind.

The Green Home Grant.

The Green Homes Grant is a £2 billion scheme, launched by the government, to help homeowners pay for energy saving improvements for their homes by installing measures such as wall insulation, solar panels and air source heat pumps.

This is to improve the warmth of homes, cut energy bills and help the UK to be zero-carbon by 2050.

For more information take a look at the Green Homes Grant blog from our partner E.ON Next.

Homes for Living.

Homes for Living is a scheme designed to support your mobility, wellbeing and independence, offering free and attractive home aids and equipment designed to give you more freedom in your home.

Our partner E.ON has put all the info together in a useful landing page.