£600 payment on its way to all households in Northern Ireland
Further details have been confirmed by the UK Government today, Monday 19 December, on the delivery of the £600 energy bill payment to households in Northern Ireland.
Payments are set to begin being issued in January.
The government will fund Northern Ireland electricity companies for these vital payments with direct debit customers receiving the payment totalling £600 automatically into their bank account.
Other customers will be sent a voucher to redeem the £600 payment, with further details of how they will work and what ID will be required set out shortly.
The NI scheme differs from EBSS in Great Britain to account for the particular and complex nature of the NI energy market and what the government states are “the delays caused by the lack of the NI Executive“.
Recognising the urgent need for this support, NI consumers will benefit from a single, one-off £600 payment, which means that they will receive the full amount before households in Great Britain.
Today's announcement comes as the Minister for Energy and Climate writes to Northern Ireland energy suppliers setting out his expectations, which includes urging them to suspend all debt recovery and enforcement activity until the end of January, as well as provide payment holidays until the end of January where customers are struggling to pay their bills.
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Chris Heaton-Harris said:
"I am acutely aware of the uncertainty and frustration that people across Northern Ireland have felt about their energy bill support. Families can start the new year knowing that they will receive the full support from January.
"I am grateful that officials and Ministers and energy suppliers have found a solution, especially given the complexity of NI's energy market, although I would have liked to have seen Northern Ireland political parties deliver this, as part of a restored Executive."