Time running out to claim council tax energy help
Time is running out for residents in and around Great Yarmouth to claim from two Government-backed schemes aimed at helping with energy costs.
Earlier this year the Government announced a council tax energy rebate of £150 for most homes in council tax bands A-D and asked local councils to make the payments direct to council tax payers' bank accounts.
So far Great Yarmouth Borough Council has made 38,600 payments to local residents, totalling nearly £5.8m. Most payments have been to people who pay by direct debit and where the council has been able to automatically verify bank account details. Many payments also include an extra £15 top up for those in most need.
But nearly 3500 homes that are entitled to the automatic payment have yet to receive it because the council does not have their verified bank details.
The authority has written to all eligible homes twice and is now warning that if people do not claim via the council's website by 14 August that householders will miss out on the direct payments. Instead, the £150 rebate will be applied to the council tax account for the property.
A related scheme means the council can make further grants to people in financial hardship whether or not they qualified for the main scheme.
Known as the discretionary energy rebate, people in any council tax band can claim if they can demonstrate financial hardship, even if they are eligible for an automatic grant under the main scheme.
Grants of £100 are available to people living in houses of multiple occupation who don't pay council tax but do pay for electric bills and can demonstrate financial need.
The deadline to apply for this scheme is 30 September.
Council leader Carl Smith said: "We know that many people are worried about increasing energy bills and these payments can put money straight in people's pockets to help support them. I encourage everyone to check their eligibility on the council's website and apply as soon as possible."
Full details of both schemes and online application forms can be found at www.great-yarmouth.gov.uk or people can phone free on 0808 196 2236.