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Set up a council tax direct debit to receive energy rebate quickly

02 March 2022 : Council news, Community

Somerset West and Taunton Council is urging bill-payers to set up a direct debit to pay their council tax, to ensure they get their £150 energy rebate payment as quickly as possible.

The energy rebate scheme was recently announced by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak to help people with rising energy bills. This includes those who already receive assistance in paying some or all of their council bill through local council tax support.

All eligible households in England in council tax bands A to D, should get the £150 payment from their District Council from April this year.

Around 78% of households in Somerset West and Taunton pay their council tax by direct debit and will receive the payment into their bank account without needing to take any action.

However, that leaves around 20,000 households who do not currently pay their council tax through this arrangement and getting the rebate money to them will take longer as they will need to go through a claims process.

For those who are not eligible for a rebate under the terms of the core scheme but are struggling to meet the costs of rising energy bills (including those who live in properties that fall into council tax bands E, F, G and H), a discretionary fund is also being launched by government and made available through local authorities.

SWT is currently working on a scheme for administering the discretionary fund, but payments will be easier and faster for those with direct debits in place.

Rate payers wishing to set up a direct debit for council tax should visit the council's Paying your council tax webpage. For new direct debits the Government requires SWT to have successfully collected a first payment of council tax by direct debit before issuing the energy rebate.

Cllr Ross Henley, Executive Member for Corporate Services, said: “We know many households will be facing economic hardship in the months ahead and the energy rebate schemes are recognition of that.

“It’s important that residents know help is available, and that they get their rebate fast. That’s why we are urging people to set up a direct debit for their council tax this April.

“Contact us and we’ll set up a Council Tax direct debit for you. This will make paying your Council Tax easier will help us get the payment to you as quickly as possible.”

Your Council Tax band is shown on your Council Tax bill. Alternatively, you can check your band by entering your postcode on the Valuation Office Agency website.