Contact calls for government to cancel disabled household energy rebate recovery

3 mins read

Wednesday 11 May 2022

Tags: cost of living, out of energy, utility bills, energy, energy rebate, campaign

We are telling the government not to ask disabled households to repay their energy bills rebate, as part of a technical consultation on its Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS).

The EBSS means electricity customers receive a £200 reduction off their bills from October 2022. This will be recovered over five years from 2023-2024.

The government is running the consultation because it wants to hear ideas from energy suppliers, charities and consumer advocacy groups on the scheme’s processes and mechanisms. This includes how the rebate is passed onto customers from energy companies, and how the government will recover the rebate.

As we outline in our Out of Energy campaign, we don’t think disabled households should have to repay the £200 rebate, and we’ll be responding to the consultation saying so.

Families with disabled children reliant on life-saving electrical equipment are already paying £600 a year more for their energy. And with families expecting to pay higher-than-average energy bills of more than £3,000 this year, 40% fear that the consequences — such as turning off heating and reducing the use of vital aids — will worsen their child’s condition.

Join our call for more support

We’ve written an open letter to the Chancellor and Energy Minister calling on his government to do more to help disabled households with energy costs.

We want: 

  • The £200 energy rebate announced in February to be made into a non-repayable grant for disabled households.
  • The government to look again at proposed changes to the Warm Home Discount Scheme in July to ensure it helps more families who have higher than average bills due to disability. Currently, the changes do not take into account the impact of disability on energy costs.
  • Disability benefits to be uprated in line with current inflation. Although they were uprated in April, this was based on September 2021’s inflation figures. Due to a huge surge in inflation in recent months, families are actually getting a significant real terms cut in financial support.

Need help with your utility bills?

There is help available, so make sure you are getting everything you are entitled to. 

It is also worth checking our energy-saving tips to see if you can decrease the amount of energy you use

And if you are struggling with finances and debt, try our online benefits calculator or our online grants search