District Dispatch - 12 April 2022
We are all more than aware of rising energy bills and the impact that this is having on our monthly outgoings. As countries around the world come out of Covid-19 lockdowns, surging demand for energy has meant energy prices have increased. Over the past year, the price of gas alone has quadrupled. Whilst the problem is global, the effect is being felt by millions of households here in the UK.
I know that many of you are very concerned about this, which is why we want to make sure that people access the support that is available. As you are probably aware, the Government announced that around 20 million households in England in council tax bands A-D will get a £150 rebate from April to help with the cost of living. Second homes and empty properties are not eligible.
If you qualify and currently pay by direct debit, then this money will automatically be paid to you and you do not need to do anything. We hope to make the payment to you within 14 days of your April direct debit. If you don't already pay by direct debit, you might want to sign up. This will make sure the rebate is paid to you quickly. It's really simple to sign up, just follow the instructions at: .
However, if you want to continue to pay your bill by other payment methods, you will receive a letter or email from us with details on how to provide us with the information required to process your rebate. Councils will also receive an extra £144 million to provide support to vulnerable households who may not qualify for the £150 council tax rebate. This includes people on low incomes in council tax bands E-H. The details will shortly be released on how to apply for this at: .
We have also produced a short video to take you through the process step by step and you can watch this on our social media channels and at the website address listed above. We have also provided lots of questions and answers to cover any further queries you might have.
In partnership with West Sussex County Council, we are also extending our Hardship Fund for another year, which means that everyone who receives council tax reduction and is of working age, will also receive a further £150. This has already been paid to those who are eligible and will be awarded automatically to any new eligible recipients throughout the year.
As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, we also have a range of support available to help you if you are struggling to pay your bills. We have developed a leaflet which you can find at: Supporting You Team which lists a number of the schemes available, as well as helpful contact details for a variety of organisations.
I'm also pleased to tell you that we have secured another round of Government funding to help residents install energy efficiency and renewable energy measures in their homes. The roll-out of this funding is currently being developed and more information will be available soon. Over a quarter of a million pounds of funding has already been awarded to residents in the Chichester District over the last two years to help make their homes more energy efficient, and it's fantastic that we will be able to continue to help people save money and do their bit for the environment through this new grant funding.
I hope you all have a lovely Easter weekend.
Cllr Eileen Lintill
Leader of Chichester District Council