UPDATE ON DOMESTIC ENERGY BILL SUPPORT SCHEME AND CHRISTMAS LICENSING HOURS 2022
19 December 2022
This morning, the UK Government announced the roll out of the Energy Bill Support Scheme, which will be combined with the Alternative Fuels Payment in Northern Ireland for a one off payment to help homes with the cost of energy.
The NI Executive's current impasse had led to delays and uncertainty, but today's announcement from the UK Government will be welcome news to households as we head into the winter months. Here's what we know:
- The Energy Bill Support Scheme will be a single payment of £600, comprising of £400 for energy costs plus the previously announced £200 Alternative Fuels Payment.
- All households in Northern Ireland with a domestic electricity supply (T01) will be eligible, and no application process is required.
- The payment can be cashed in order to pay for things like home heating oil.
- It is expected that payments to consumers will begin in January, however the Government is still working through the required legal documentation in order to do this. It is expected that the work will be completed this week.
- Consumers do not need to contact their energy suppliers about receiving the payment.
- Customers who pay for electricity by Direct Debit (fixed or variable, monthly or quarterly) will receive a refund of £600 directly into their bank account.
- Customers who pre-pay their electricty or use a credit account will receive a voucher which can be transferred into a bank account, or paid out in cash.
- We are expecting more detail soon on required documentation like ID, and where you will be able to redeem vouchers.
- Today's press release with full info is available on the GOV.UK website (click here)
- HU would like to stress to the industry to BEWARE of scam emails or calls relating to this scheme. You do not have to apply, and you will never be asked for your bank details.
- Further clarification is expected for households in Northern Ireland without a domestic electricity supply. It is expected to mirror the wider UK scheme, and in this instance an application may be needed.
- Hospitality Ulster continues to work with sister organisation UK Hospitality to lobby UK Government for the continuation of the business energy support scheme for the hospitality industry as part of the current review.
CHRISTMAS LICENSING HOURS 2022
Unless otherwise stated, it is trading as normal over the Christmas period due to the recent implementation of modernised liquor licensing legislation, after an extended campaign by Hospitality Ulster.
24th December (Christmas Eve)
11:30am - 11:00pm (or 12 midnight with any late extension. It is prohibited to sell intoxicating liquor past midnight. Plus 1 hour drinking up time)
Off licences operating under a full 5(1)(a) pub liquor licence: 11:30am-11:00pm
Off licences (shops): 8:00am - 11:00pm
25th December (Christmas Day)
12:30pm - 10:00pm (no late extensions. Plus 1 hour drinking up time.)
Off licences operating under a full 5(1)(a) pub liquor licence: closed
Off licences (shops): closed