Jack Monroe responds to soaring profits of energy companies
Good Morning Britain/ITV

Every household across England, Scotland and Wales is set to receive £400 as part of the government's Energy Bill Support Scheme in response to fuel costs that are set to rise this autumn.

This comes at a time when energy prices have skyrocketed for customers, as inflation hit a 40-year high- at 9.1 per cent back in June, the impact has been felt across the country causing a cost of living crisis.

Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi said: "We know that people are struggling with rising energy prices which is why we have taken action with support over the winter months to help ease the pressure on household budgets."

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"This £400 off energy bills is part of our £37 billion of help for households, including eight million of the most vulnerable households receiving £1,200 of direct support to help with the cost of living."

In light of this announcement, here is some further information on the discount.

How will the money be paid?

The money will be paid in six installments, administered by energy suppliers - so a £66 per month discount will be applied to the energy bills of eligible households in October and November and then £67 from December to March 2023.

How do I claim this discount?

Those with a domestic electricity meter who paid via direct debit, either monthly or quarterly or by card don't have to lift a finger as the discount will be automatically applied and deducted from their bills.

Similarly, for "smart" prepayment meter customers (1.9m of them), an automatic monthly top-up will be added to their account which means they will save money as they won't be spending it putting credit into the meter.

If you use older payment methods (which is about 2m households), then this discount will not be automatically applied and there will be extra steps to get this.

Discount vouchers will be sent to customers in the first week of every month via text, email or by post, where customers can redeem them at local top-up points e.g. the Post Office or PayPoint.

Do I have to pay this money back?

Short answer - no.

This is a non-repayable discount so you don't have to worry about paying this back in the future.

How have people reacted to this announcement?

After the announcement, people soon shared their thoughts on Twitter and let's just say the discount didn't go down too well given the news that British Gas owner Centrica announced its operating profits increased five-fold to £1.34 billion.

While people argued that the £400 is not a long-term solution to the problem, describing it as a "drop in the ocean."

Are there any other government discounts available?

Yes, for households that are struggling with bill payments there are some one-off discounts in place to help those in need, according to the government website those are:

  • £650 one-off Cost of Living Payment for around 8 million households on means-tested benefits
  • £300 one-off Pensioner Cost of Living Payment for over 8 million pensioner households to be paid alongside the Winter Fuel Payment
  • £150 one-off Disability Cost of Living Payment for around six million people across the UK who receive certain disability benefits.
For more information visit the GOV UK website.

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