The highly-anticipated council tax energy rebate is due to start being paid out across Colchester this month.

The Government announced the rebate support earlier this year in response to soaring energy bills, with payments administered by local authorities for all households in council tax bands A to D.

This means four out of five households in England will benefit, including around 95% of rented properties. However, second homes or empty properties will not benefit. 

How to save money on your energy bills

Councils have until September 30, to pay the £150 rebate to all eligible residents and the one off payment does not need to be repaid. 

It is available for all households in bands A to D including those who receive Local Council Tax Support, even if their council tax bill is less than £150 for the year.

How will the council tax rebate be paid? 

In Colchester, people who pay their council tax by Direct Debit will have the £150 paid into their bank account automatically. 

On the council website, it states: "Payments will start in May, after the first direct debit for Council tax has been taken. This is so that we are able to verify that the details are all correct.

"Due to the number of payments, this will take some time to process and could continue up to September."

They hope that payments to those on Direct Debit will be done by June though.

If you are not on Direct Debit then you will need to fill in the form on the council website here, and payments will be processed "as quickly as possible".

What to do if you’re not eligible for the council tax rebate? 

A discretionary scheme set up by the Government will be available to support vulnerable people on low incomes who do not pay or are exempt from council tax, or whose properties are in E to H.

Colchester Borough Council will have an online form to fill in at some point for those in the E to H band, and more information on that will be posted on their website here

How do I know what council tax band I am in?

You can check by visiting the gov website here. 

Council tax rebate scam warning

Councils have warned residents of criminals cold-calling householders asking for bank details to receive the Government’s £150 energy rebate - local authorities stressed that they would never ask for bank details over the phone.

The Local Government Association (LGA) said anyone who unexpectedly receives a text, email or phone call seeking information or payment should not give out personal information, including bank details, click any links or respond until they can be sure it is genuine.

“Anyone can fall victim to a scam, and we urge people of all ages to brush up on the tell-tale signs, and the support available to those who need it."

Mohan Iyengar, vice-chairman of the LGA’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said: “Councils are working hard to ensure eligible residents receive their energy rebate payments as soon as possible, however criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their attempts to take advantage of the financial worries people are facing and as a result many of these scams look legitimate on first impression.