Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has announced a £55 million Energy Payment Support Scheme for vulnerable people struggling to meet rising energy costs due to the global fuel crisis.
A one-off payment of £200 will be made automatically to around 280,000 eligible people in receipt of specified benefits. The payment will be made through existing payment channels, without the need for an application.
Minister Hargey commented on the announcement: “Huge hikes in energy prices have placed even more pressure on people who are already struggling this winter.
“That’s why I am providing a one-off payment of £200 to support those people and families who, without additional support, may struggle to heat their homes or pay their energy bills.
“I know the impact that rising global energy prices are having on people on low incomes and I have secured this funding in order to protect people from the worst impacts.
“These payments will be made as soon as practically possible.”
The Energy Payment Support Scheme is in addition to a Department for Communities’ Emergency Fuel Payment Scheme announced at the end of December and administered by Bryson Care.
The £2m scheme aims to deliver targeted support to those who present as being in an immediate fuel crisis and who have a temporary inability to meet their fuel costs.
More information about the scheme is available on the NIDirect website.