The Energy Prices Act 2022 provides the legislative framework to deliver the government’s package of energy support, including the Energy Price Guarantee and the Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS).
The Act introduces regulations setting out 'pass-through' requirements for the Energy Bill Relief Scheme to ensure that any benefits from the scheme are passed through (passed on) to the end user.
If your housing association is benefitting from the Energy Bill Relief Scheme, while operating a heat network (or acting as an intermediary), or charging residents for electricity in communal areas (lighting, lifts, security doors etc.) then you will need to take the following steps.
Inform all customers how and when savings will be passed on to them
The notice must set out:
- The amount of benefit provided to the heat supplier through the Energy Bill Relief Scheme.
- The period of time to which the benefit relates.
- A summary of the requirements to pass on the benefit of the Energy Bill Relief Scheme to consumers.
- When and how the amount will be provided to the consumer.
- Details of how the consumer may resolve any dispute with the heat supplier about how it has complied with the requirement to pass on the benefit from the Energy Bill Relief Scheme, which may involve the heat supplier sharing its complaints handling procedure.
- That a consumer can make a complaint to the Energy Ombudsman on the grounds set out on GOV.UK.
- That a consumer can recover the pass-through amount as a civil debt if the heat supplier does not provide the consumer with that amount.
You have 30 days to pass on the benefit
Savings must be passed on or within 30 days of receiving the discounted prices from your energy supplier. To help with this, you will find a template letter on GOV.UK.
Register with the Energy Ombudsman for the redress scheme
More information about this can be found on the Energy Ombudsman website. Heat suppliers can also contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on the redress scheme.
You can find further guidance on the Energy Bill Relief Scheme pass-through requirements for heat networks on GOV.UK, including how to inform customers and calculating the pass through.