About 250,000 pensioners are getting a one-off rebate of £80 to help cut their electricity bills. The payout is being funded by the UK's largest energy companies under a voluntary arrangement with the Government. Most eligible customers will be notified by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), and should be paid automatically. However, some are being asked to phone the DWP's Helpline to confirm their entitlement. All recipients should be notified before the end of July 2010.
You qualify for the £80 rebate if, on 26 March 2010, you met all of the following conditions:
- aged 70 or over;
- you receive the guarantee credit element of Pension Credit, which tops up your weekly pension to £132.60 (for a single person) or £202.40 (for a couple), but not the savings credit element (e.g. paid to people with a second pension or savings);
- you are responsible for paying the electricity bill and are not already on a social or discount tariff.
The rebate is part of the annual spend by energy companies on programmes of social assistance, which amounts to £150 million in 2010-11. If you are eligible and have not been notified by the end of July, get in touch with the DWP. The Energy Rebate Scheme Helpline is 0845 600 0033. Lines are open 8.00 am to 8.00 pm, Monday to Friday.