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How can care providers claim £400 energy support for care home residents?

Most households (including Care Home and Supported Living residents) in England get a £400 discount on their energy bills automatically, this was paid monthly over 6 months at £66 or £67 per month. In some cases, like Care Homes and Supported Living services, the resident does not get the payment and will need to apply for it.

Those eligible for the payment are those who are:

  • in a care home or supported living facility and pay for some or all of their care (directly or through loss of pension or other benefits)
  • part of a heat network without an electricity meter
  • in social or private rented accommodation which has a business energy connection or a communal electricity supply
  • off the mains electricity or gas grid

This creates an opportunity for care providers to claim this payment or part of it from the residents to cover the cost of energy inflation.  If the care provider has not experienced any energy inflation this winter or is not expecting an increase this year, then they should not claim this payment.  This is not an opportunity for care providers to profit from government funding, this is a payment to recover the cost of increased energy costs only.

We do not know if local authorities commissioning care for local authority-funded residents will claim this funding.  We would expect this not to be the case unless they have made energy payments to care providers already.

Despite our lobbying over the last few months, the Government is insisting this payment is made to each individual resident in a care home if they pay for all or part of their care.  Self-funded residents pay for their care and are eligible to claim the £400 one-off payment under the scheme.

Local Authority-funded residents who have surrendered all, or part of their pension or any benefits, will also be entitled to claim the £400 one-off payment.  Some care providers may not know if this is the case and will need to ask their residents if they have surrendered any pension or benefits.

For those funding their own care (self-funded residents) care providers must consider if they have already allowed for energy inflation in their annual fee uplifts they charge to self-funders.  If they have already addressed inflation in their self-funder fee uplifts, they may simply sign-post the application process to their self-funded residents to recover the £400 payment for themselves.

It is unlikely most local authorities have made winter energy payments to care providers and as such, care providers can sign-post local authority-funded residents or their nominees to the application process to claim a £400 energy payment.  The individuals or their nominated individual who manages their financial affairs will need to make the application themselves, care providers cannot do this for them, and it is then up to the care provider to determine if it wishes to claim that £400 payment from the resident in consideration of any increase in energy costs incurred by the care home.

Despite months of lobbying by Care England and the CPA, care homes can’t make these applications on behalf of their residents, which would be far simpler.  The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero who are responsible for energy has categorically stated that individuals themselves (or their nominees) only must apply for this funding in their own name.

The local council will review the application and cross reference with national data sources, and approve the £400 payment directly to the individual resident’s bank account only.  There are no exceptions.  If the resident does not have a bank account, they should contact the helpline provided:

Email: alternativefunding@ebss.beis.gov.uk
Telephone: 0808 175 3287
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

We have drafted support notes to assist residents in completing the application process CLICK HERE and suggest these are sent to the resident or their families to make their applications along with a copy of the information below.

Care providers will need to issue residents who are funded by the local authority with a letter to upload to the Energy Bill Support Scheme on the GOV.UK website stating:

  • Resident name
  • Care home name and address
  • Confirming that they pay some or all their care home fees – which could be from their pension or benefits which might be taken directly by the local authority or paid to the care home.

For self-funded residents the resident will need to upload the following:

  • Resident name
  • Care home name and address
  • An invoice showing their care home fees dated within the last 3 months.

Care providers should make residents aware to only apply through the “GOV.UK” website to assure themselves they are not being scammed.  Residents can google “Apply for energy bill support if you do not get it automatically” or type https://www.gov.uk/apply-energy-bill-support-if-not-automatic into their browser to ensure they are accessing the correct link.  We are not permitted to share links to the portal to avoid potential fraud by scammers.

The scheme ends for eligible applications on the 31st May 2023.

The government announcement can be seen here: GOV.UK Press Notice

Any questions regarding the application process should be addressed to:

Email: alternativefunding@ebss.beis.gov.uk
Telephone: 0808 175 3287
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

A poster/leaflet to support the initiative can be found here and a further factsheet from the Department of Energy Security can be found here.