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Energy Bill Support Scheme (EBSS) Payments (EBRS and EPG Schemes) through landlords / intermediaries

Do you pay your landlord for your energy supply?

Is electricity and gas included in the amount you pay for rent?

Any ‘intermediaries’ (the landlord as the middleman) who receives support from the EBSS, EBRS or EPG schemes must ensure that they pass on that benefit to end users (in most cases the tenant) in a way that is ‘just and reasonable’.

Answers to some of the more common questions on EBSS payments and how these should be passed on –

Relevant ‘Intermediaries’ are any individual or organisation that hold an electricity and / or gas contract and passed on the costs of the energy supplier under this contract to an end user of the energy supplied.

One example of an intermediary would be a landlord, where the tenant pays their energy cost as part of their rent.

This also covers intermediaries supplying a product or service where contractually a part of the price related directly to the cost of electricity and / or gas.

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • landlords
  • sublets
  • student accommodation managers
  • social housing providers
  • local authorities (for council housing)
  • site owners (for park homes)
  • site managers
  • marinas if using shore power (for boat homes)
  • combined heat and power operators
  • electric vehicle charging operators
  • other residential building managers

 

It is possible for intermediary to also be an end user. For example, a landlord who owns a block of flats and lives in one of them will be both an end user and intermediary to the tenants of the other flats.

Any person who falls under this definition must consider their obligations to pass on the benefits of the relevant schemes.

Intermediaries must pass on the discount regardless of how the end user pays for their energy use.

They can adjust the amount they pass on based on their charges to end users and must demonstrate to end users that this amount is just and reasonable. 

Intermediaries can take into account the extent to which they have increased their charges to end users as a result of the energy crisis. For example, if the intermediary has shielded its end users from the impact of increased energy prices it may be just and reasonable for it to retain some or all of the scheme benefit. 

The type of benefit that is passed on is dependent on the way the intermediary pays for their energy. 

Domestic contracts 

If the intermediary has a domestic contract with a supplier, they will receive the Energy price guarantee (EPG) and the Energy bill support scheme (EBSS) 

They should pass this benefit onto their end users and ensure that any automatic tariffs (such as from a coin meter) are set in line with the EPG rates. If the landlord has protected their tenants from some of the energy price rises, they may be able to retain some of the benefit.  

Business contracts  

If the landlord has a business contract, they will not receive EBSS payment, but will receive the Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS). In this case the end user will not get the EBSS payment but should have any benefit from the EBRS scheme passed onto them by their landlord/intermediary.  

Heat Networks 

It is the responsibility of the heat supplier to notify each of its consumers in writing that the heat supplier has been provided with a benefit under the EBRS. 

The notice must be given to consumers by the later of these two deadlines: 

  • 1st December 2022 
  • Within 30 days of the EBRS benefit being provided to the heat supplier. 

The Regulations require a heat supplier to provide either the full benefit it receives from the EBRS, or if less than the full benefit, a just and reasonable pass-through amount calculated in accordance with the Regulations 

The heat supplier must provide consumers with evidence showing what factors it has taken into account in determining that the pass-through amount was just and reasonable. The factors which a heat supplier can take into account are: 

  • the amount which the heat supplier paid for the energy which was subject to price reductions under the EBRS; 
  • any other costs which the heat supplier incurred in supplying heating and hot water during the period it benefits from the EBRS. This includes costs from distributional heat losses, efficiency of generation, operational, maintenance, and capital costs, and set-up and operation costs of effecting the EBRS pass-through; 

Any losses which the heat supplier has incurred as a result of the cost of purchasing energy exceeding the amount charged to consumers for the supply of heating and hot water during the period for which the scheme benefit was provided (the EBRS will apply to existing fixed price contracts that were agreed on or after 1 December 2021). For example, heat suppliers with ‘price promises’ to their consumers may have incurred losses from absorbing higher wholesale energy costs whilst holding prices for consumers down. A heat supplier can factor these losses into determining a pass-through amount. 

In addition, the Regulations specify that a pass-through amount is just and reasonable if it is calculated on the same basis used by the heat supplier when calculating charges to the consumer when it was provided with the EBRS benefit. Specifically, if when it was provided with the scheme benefit, the heat supplier was calculating the price of heat charged to the consumer based on: 

 

  • the consumer’s heating and hot water consumption; or 
  • an amount which represents a proportion of the cost incurred by the heat supplier when purchasing the energy needed to supply heating and hot water 

the heat supplier’s calculation of the pass-through amount for each consumer must reflect this approach. 

Further reading and examples 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pass-through-requirements-for-energy-price-support-provided-to-intermediaries/guidance-on-the-pass-through-requirements-for-energy-price-support-in-great-britain-provided-to-intermediaries 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pass-through-requirements-for-energy-price-support-provided-to-intermediaries/guidance-on-the-energy-bill-relief-scheme-pass-through-requirements-for-heat-networks 

The first thing you should do is to speak to your landlord to see what the situation is. They should be able to tell you how EBSS payments are being passed on to you.

The team at energyadvice.scot can provide more information on your next steps, or if you are still awaiting on EBSS payments from previous month(s).

Call 0808 196 8660 (Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm) or speak to the team online.

The Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS)

With the Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS) payments set to kick off from the 1st of October, many are wondering what this will mean for them, how this will work, and when they will see the benefit.

What is the Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS)?

The Energy Bills Support Scheme is a £400 discount that will be applied to the energy bills of all UK households to help with the cost of energy bills from the 1st of October 2022. You do not need to apply for the discount. The specifics of how payments will be provided by your energy supplier (More on this later).

This will be delivered over a six-month period from October 2022, with many suppliers advising payments will be made within 10-days of the commencement of the scheme.

Who is Eligible for EBSS?

Every household with a domestic electricity connection in the UK is eligible for the £400 discount. Energy suppliers will contact you about the specifics of how payments will be made.

How will I Receive the Discount?

Individual energy suppliers will administer discounts for their own customers and make payments over the six-month period to ensure households receive financial support over the winter months.

This will be applied as follows:

  • October 2022 – £66
  • November 2022 – £66
  • December 2022 – £67
  • January 2023 – £67
  • February 2023 – £67
  • March 2023 – £67

The discount will be supplied monthly, regardless of the frequency of customer payments – meaning those who pay quarterly or with payment cards will be paid the amounts with the same regularity (i.e., monthly).

YOU WILL NEVER BE ASKED FOR YOUR BANK DETAILS FROM OFGEM, OR ANYONE ELSE – Those with a domestic energy supply do not need to apply for the discount.

There are scammers reaching out to people asking for financial and personal information. It is important to ensure we DO NOT Supply this information and report any suspected scams or suspicious activity at www.scamwatch.scot.

You do not need to get in contact with your energy supplier, as all domestic energy customers will be automatically eligible.

Those who have not received their first instalment by the end of October should reach out to their energy supplier for more information.

If you require energy advice, or are having difficulty reaching your supplier, energyadvice.scot can help!

Call us on 0808 196 8660 (Monday to Friday,9am-5pm) or visit

www.energyadvice.scot.

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We provide free, practical advice and information on energy-related matters to the citizens of Scotland.

We can provide advice and information if you:

  • Have basic or complex energy enquiries relating to your supplier
  • Wish to understand your energy supplier’s complaints process
  • Experiencing problems with your energy billing

We provide free, practical advice and information on energy-related matters to the citizens of Scotland.

We can provide advice and information if you:

  • Have basic or complex energy enquiries relating to your supplier
  • Wish to understand your energy supplier’s complaints process
  • Experiencing problems with your energy billing

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