Electricity rebates for pensioners

The Government today announced a deal with the big six energy suppliers (British Gas, EDF Energy, EON, Npower, Scottish Power and Scottish & Southern Energy) to reduce energy bills for poorer pensioners.

As a result, up to 250,000 households should see an £80 rebate off their electricity bills. Surely welcome as the cold snap lingers in the Sheffield region.

As part of the deal, the Government says it will share data securely with the energy suppliers so that they can identify the most vulnerable pensioners.

In most cases the rebate will be awarded automatically by electricity suppliers, without the need to claim. Where this will not be possible, we will write to individuals advising what they need to do so that they do not lose out.

Those pensioners covered by the scheme do not have to do anything at the moment. They will be contacted by DWP if the scheme applies to them. Full details about all the qualifying criteria are expected to be available by the end of March. An enquiry line has been set up, which can provide more details on the Scheme.  0845 600 0033.

Help will be targeted at households where a person, or one person in a couple, is aged 70 or over, and in receipt of only the guarantee credit element of pension credit on the qualifying date of 26th March 2010.

Anyone aged 60 or over on or before 27th September 2009 may qualify for a Winter Fuel Payment of £250 per household. Households with someone aged 80 or over could get a payment of £400. Where 2 or more eligible people share a household payments made at a shared rate. The Winter Fuel Payment is one of a number of initiatives the government has introduced to help older people keep warm and well during the winter months.

People over 60 who are newly eligible and who need to claim, and have not already received a claim form, can get one by visiting the Winter Fuel Payment website – http://www.direct.gov.uk/winterfuel, or by calling the helpline on 0845 9 15 15 15 (0845 601 5613 for textphone users).

The vast majority received their Winter Fuel Payments before Christmas. Over 60s who haven’t yet claimed the Winter Fuel Payment have just weeks to get in touch with The Pension Service to receive help with energy costs

All claim forms for the Winter Fuel Payment must be received on or before 30th March 2010 to meet the deadline.  To get a claim form Call the Winter Fuel Helpline on 0845 9 15 15 15 or go online at http://www.direct.gov.uk/winterfuel

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