The UK Government has introduced a range of supports for domestic energy customers starting this winter.
Energy Bill Support Scheme and Alternative Fuel Payment (EBSS AFP NI)
The Government is providing a payment of £600 to help with energy bills. This includes £400 under the Energy Bills Support Scheme and £200 under the Alternative Fuel Payment scheme. Please allow until end February to receive your payment. You don't need to contact us to receive it, and you should beware of scam messages suggesting you need to apply or provide bank details.
- If you pay by Direct Debit you will receive the £600 directly into your bank account. We’ll communicate with eligible customers within one month of this transfer confirming that this payment has been made.
I am a Direct Debit customer – why can’t I see the £600 on my bank statement?
The majority of SSE Airtricity electric customers have had the £600 payment transferred to their bank account from 23 January. This could take up to 7days to appear in your bank account. There are a small number of Direct Debit customers that we are unable to transfer the £600 payment to – this could be because your bank details are incorrect, or we had not yet taken your first Direct Debit payment. These customers will receive a voucher in the post instead in the coming weeks.
- If you have a keypad meter or have a standard credit meter, and do not pay by Direct Debit, you will receive £600 in cash vouchers. You are automatically included in this scheme, but you will need to redeem these vouchers through any Post Office. Voucher letters are beginning to issue from the Post Office from mid- January. There will be a phased delivery of these vouchers through to end- February. We ask you not to worry if you don’t receive your voucher straight away as you may be included in a later batch.
If you’re a keypad customer and recently received a letter from us asking you to register your electricity account to receive £600 UK Government Supports, please note due to a change in Government policy you are no longer required to register. Your Government Supports will be issued to you in the post addressed to ‘the occupier’ from mid-January onwards. You don’t need to take any action at this time.
If you’re a credit meter customer registering with us, you can visit sseairtricity.com/registerme to update your details online.
The EBSS AFP NI is separate to the Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) which provides a unit rate discount.
Redeeming your voucher
All vouchers must be redeemed at a Post Office before the expiration date on your letter. You will need to bring the following items to the post office with you when redeeming your voucher:
- Your voucher
- Your identification
- Acceptable proof of Address (this must match the account holder details on the voucher)
- If you are a Keypad customer – your top up card or the app you use to make payments
- Your bank card or your bank account details - to deposit the payment directly into your bank account at the post office counter.
For full details on what you’ll need to redeem, please visit gov.uk.
Energy Price Guarantee
The Energy Price Guarantee Scheme is a government support that reduces the unit cost of electricity and gas that a typical household in Northern Ireland will pay for their energy.
Please click here to view our current electricity tariffs tables with the current EPG discount. From November to December 2022, customers receive an average discount of 19.9p/kWh for electricity and 4.8p/kWh for gas.
From January to March 2023, the government support will be reduced, and the average unit price discount will change to 13.6p/kWh for electricity and 3.9p/kWh for gas.
From 1 January 2023, a typical electricity customer will save about £130 on their annual bill equating to a saving of 33.7%, a typical gas customer will save about £206 which is equal to a saving of 30.8% compared to the SSE Airtricity prices they would be paying without the EPG discounts applied.^
^Decreases based on a household customer on 24hr Standard credit meter tariffs with a typical annual consumption of 3,200 kWh for electricity, and 12,000 kWh for gas (with seasonality weighting applied to consumption). Figures inclusive of unit rate and VAT. Figures are based on SSE Airtricity’s current standard tariff, and the government support discounts from 1 January 2023. Actual savings will vary according to meter type, individual tariff, and consumption.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How do I know if I am eligible for these support schemes?
All Domestic electricity and gas customers are eligible to receive the EPG support discounts.
All domestic electricity customers will also receive the £600 EBSS AFP NI support payments.
How will I receive these supports?
EBSS AFP NI
- If you pay by Direct Debit you will receive the £600 directly into your bank account.
- If you have a keypad meter or have a standard credit meter, and do not pay by Direct Debit, you will receive £600 in cash vouchers. You are automatically included in this scheme, but you will need to redeem these vouchers. You’ll receive more information on the voucher scheme shortly.
Credit meter customers will continue to have the EPG support discount automatically applied to their bill.
Prepay customers will have the EPG support discount applied to their unit rate.
When will I see this support apply to my bill?
EBSS AFP NI
The £600 payment will be made directly to you, either through your bank account or through vouchers for customers who do not pay by Direct Debit. This payment will not appear on your energy bill.
Domestic energy customers will continue to have the EPG support discount applied to their bills.
I have changed or I want to change my bank details, what do I do?
You can change your bank account details as normal. However, if they have been changed recently and you have not made a payment using these new bank details, you will not receive payment through your bank account., Instead, you'll receive your payment through cash vouchers.
Where can I find more information about the schemes?
For more information on how the government is supporting domestic customers please visit nidirect.
Why are you using a different Energy Price Guarantee rate for Northern Ireland?
The energy market in Northern Ireland is structured differently to that in Great Britain. This means there are differences in wholesale prices.
As energy bills in Northern Ireland are not expected to face the same increases as those in Great Britain for January 2023 to March 2023, the Government has introduced a new EPG discount rate for Northern Ireland.
How are the EPG rates calculated?
The discount rates per kWh are calculated by the UK Government. For more information on how these rates are calculated, please click here.
Why can I see different discount rates on my bill?
The support discount is set by the government. If your meter has more than one register, Economy 7 meters for example, the discount is applied across each of the different registers so that the discount holds the same value regardless of your meter type.
How often will my EPG discount per kWh change?
If the discount per kWh reviewed by the government changes, suppliers will be made aware of the revised discount rate. Based on this review, discounts may or may not change. Any change in discount will automatically be applied to your bill.
What happens when the EPG scheme ends?
The UK Government has announced that they will continue to review and consider how to support households and businesses with energy bills after the scheme ends.
What rate will I be charged when the EPG scheme ends?
When the scheme ends, you’ll be charged the SSE Airtricity rate applicable to your contract at the time.
I run a business from my home. What Scheme am I entitled to?
Eligible businesses will receive Government supports through the Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS).
Domestic customers will receive Government supports through the Energy Price Guarantee (EPG).