A scam warning has been issued by ministers encouraging people not to cheat with fraudulent messages asking them to provide bank details when the energy price guarantee comes into effect.
From October 1, a cap on the price households pay for a unit of gas and electricity they use will mean a typical utility bill would have to be £2,500 a year. The first installment of £400 discount for households will also appear on bills.
However, the government fears that scammers could target people by falsely telling them to claim the aid announced in September amid soaring energy bills and the cost of living crisis.
There is no need to apply for the schemes, as most customers receive the support automatically through their utility bills, while households in Northern Ireland will receive the same assistance from November, with support for October’s bills retroactive.
The company secretary, Jacob Rees-Mogg, said he wanted “to urge people to stay alert to scams today” because the aid would “reach people automatically” and there was no need to apply.
He added that the financial aid on offer was unprecedented and would protect households and businesses “across the country from what would be an 80% increase in energy bills this winter”.
Consumers are urged to report suspected scams and the government said no household should be asked for bank details at any time.