The authority is pushing out its Council Tax Energy Rebate Scheme to around 215,000 households in the city.
In February 2022, the Government announced millions of households are to receive up to £350 to help with the cost of living following a rise in the energy price cap.
All domestic electricity customers will get £200 off their energy bills from October, with households in Council Tax Bands A to D receiving a £150 Council Tax Energy Rebate.
Direct Debit customers
To minimise the risk of fraudulent applications, the Council took the first Direct Debit payment to ensure it cleared before paying the rebate.
Therefore, with those first payments being paid in April, the earliest date the rebate can be paid is May. This also gave the Council the time necessary to carry out testing for this new scheme, ensuring it minimised the risk of payment errors.
From Monday, 16 May to Thursday, 19 May, Direct Debit customer payments will be made in four batches. The date customers receive their payment will depend on their banking arrangements.
The Council expects the majority of Direct Debit customers will have received their rebate by 24 May.
There will be some payments and queries which will be more complex and the Council will work to resolve these as soon as possible.
Non-Direct Debit customers
Those who do not pay by Direct Debit – around 77,000 households in Sheffield - will receive their rebate via Post Office Payout.
They will receive a letter, including a barcoded voucher for £150, which customers will need to take to the Post Office, with a proof of ID, to claim the rebate.
Alternatively, customers can opt for the Post Office to top up their energy bill instead.
Letters and vouchers are expected to be issued to non-Direct Debit customers in the coming months.
Customers who do not automatically qualify
A discretionary scheme has been set up for those who do not automatically qualify for the Council Tax Energy Rebate Scheme.
Some awards from this scheme will be made automatically, but the Council will also have an application process for households who aren’t liable for Council Tax, but are liable for energy costs.
The application process is currently being finalised and a further update will be issued when the scheme is live and ready to receive applications.
Tim Hardie, Head of Revenues & Benefits, said: “We absolutely appreciate residents in Sheffield, like people up and down the country, are concerned about finances and the cost of living crisis. I want to reassure residents we’re working hard to get it rolled out as quickly and efficiently as possible.”
Please see the Government’s Council Tax Energy Rebate factsheet for answers to some frequently asked questions: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/council-tax-rebate-factsheet