Government have issued guidance to local authorities in respect of the above £150 council tax energy rebate.
In summary there are two schemes: a mandatory scheme and a discretionary scheme.
Those occupying MOD properties are excluded from both.
The mandatory scheme applies to those who fit the following criteria:
- Are liable for council tax in a band A-D property at the close of Friday 1 April 2022.
- It includes Band E properties which attract a Disabled Band Reduction and are therefore charged at a Band D rate.
- It is someone's sole or main residence
- It includes some exempt properties such as those wholly occupied by students or those with a Severe Mental Impairment or certain annexes.
- It includes properties where the charge has been reduced to £0 as a result of an award of Council Tax Support.
However, it does not apply to second homes, empty properties, or those properties where the liable party is not an individual e.g. where it is the local authority, a housing association, government department or company.
By accepting a payment from this scheme, the Royal Borough assumes that residents fit the criteria outlined above. If this is not the case, residents may be liable to repay the grant, and therefore, should inform the council tax section immediately by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Where more than one person is liable for Council Tax at an address, only one payment may be made, but it is intended to support all residents of the household.
The council has been allocated £4,597,950 for this scheme. The £150 is a one-off award and does not have to be repaid.
Direct Debit payers
We have now started to make payments to residents who paid their April 2022 Council Tax instalment by Direct Debit. There are approximately 20,000 residents who pay by Direct Debit, therefore these payments will be made in batches over the next two weeks. We hope to have concluded these payments by Wednesday 18 May 2022.
A notification will not be sent when we have made payment, so please check the bank account which you make the Council Tax payment from.
Please do not contact us before then chasing a payment.
Non Direct Debit payers
If you do not make your Council Tax payment by Direct Debit, you will need to complete an on-line application form so that we can verify your identity and bank details. To make your application you will need to go to the Grant Approval website. To make your application, please ensure that:
- You select "Windsor & Maidenhead" as the authority and "Energy Support Payment" as the relevant scheme
- You will need to have your bank details available
- You will also need your Council Tax account number and property reference available. These can both be found on your most recent Council Tax bill.
Please note: that we will never call you to collect your bank account details and, due to the risk of fraud, we will not be able to verbally provide you with your account number or property reference number, but you can request a copy Council Tax bill by contacting customer services on 01628 683800.
When you will hear from us
We aim to process your application within ten working days but this may take longer depending upon how many of the 10,500 eligible residents apply at once. If your application is approved, your grant payment will show as cleared funds in your account within a further three working days.
Payments will only be made directly to the liable parties’ bank account.
If you need help making an application on-line, you can drop into your local library at anytime, but we have also set up specific help sessions, as outlined below, when we will have more staff available to assist you and you may therefore have to wait less time.
Please ensure you bring your latest Council Tax bill with you and details of your bank account i.e. account and sort code.
- Ascot: Tuesday 17 May 3pm -4 pm, Thursday 19 May 11am-12pm, Tuesday 24 May 3pm-4pm and Thursday 26 May 5.30pm-6.30pm.
- Cox Green: Wednesday 25 May 2pm-3pm and Wednesday 8 June 5pm-6pm.
- Datchet: Tuesday 24 May 3pm-4pm and Thursday 9 June 5pm-6pm.
- Dedworth: Friday 20 May 3pm-4pm and Thursday 9 June 2.30pm-3.30pm.
- Eton Wick: Thursday 19 May 3.30pm-4.30pm and Thursday 16 June 3.30pm-4.30pm.
- Maidenhead: Monday 16 May 10am-11am, Thursday 19 May 5.30pm-6.30pm, Tuesday 24 May 1pm-2pm and Thursday 9 June 5.30pm-6.30pm.
- Windsor: Wednesday 11 May 2.30pm-4.30pm, Friday 20 May 10.30am-12.30pm, Wednesday 25 May 2.30pm-4.30pm and Wednesday 8 June 2.30pm-4.30pm.
What if I am overdrawn - can the bank take the payment?
If you are overdrawn, you can protect your payment by telling your bank that you do not want them to use this to help with your overdraft. This protection is called a "first right of appropriation funds order". A sample letter that residents may wish to use to exercise this right is available from the National Debtline.
The council has been allocated a further £294,150 to create a Discretionary Scheme for those who do not qualify for the mandatory scheme e.g. those in bands E-H.
We are currently considering options with regard to how the Discretionary Scheme may assist financially vulnerable residents and hope to have the scheme finalised in June 2022. We will provide an update here when possible.
Please do not call Customer Services to enquire about this at this time as we do not have any further information. We will contact residents directly should they be required to take any action to secure this payment.