The UK’s Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS) provided $2.1bn as a first instalment to over 27 million families in the UK last month.

According to new data released on 18 November, the EBSS successfully provided an $80 discount to 97% of qualifying homes in England, Scotland and Wales. The remaining 3% have yet to redeem their discounts.

Starting with this first transaction since the EBSS launched in October, customers will receive a $472 saving on energy bills paid in six monthly instalments. The second instalment will arrive in November, and more than double the total amount invested in the programme to $4.5bn.

Grant Shapps, the UK’s Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said: “All vouchers have now been sent to customers who should have them, so I urge everyone who uses a traditional prepayment meter to make sure they receive their voucher from their supplier and redeem them promptly, so they get the energy bill support they are entitled to.”

The scheme, administered by energy suppliers, was designed so that customers receive the rebate the same way they pay their energy bills, such as by direct debit, credit card, smart meters or classic prepayment meters.

UK Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, James Cartlidge, said: “We are facing a global energy crisis driven by Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, and we know this is a huge challenge for people here in the UK. We have taken direct action, ensuring millions of households are protected this winter.”

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The government adopted new regulations earlier this year that require intermediaries (landlords) to pass on savings gained through the EBSS and other energy support schemes to tenants who do not pay their energy bills directly.

Discounts granted through other ways, and the EBSS would save a typical home over $826 this winter. The EBSS will continue to offer assistance for another year, starting in April 2023. With energy prices expected to stay high, this will amount to an average of $590 in aid per year for households from 2023 to 2024.