The government has announced households across England, Scotland and Wales will receive £400 to help with rising energy bills this winter.

The money, which is part of the Energy Bill Support Scheme announced in May this year will come in six instalments over six months to some 29 million households.

Households will not receive a one-off payment, instead they will see £66 taken off their energy bills in October and November, and £67 between December and March, the Government said.

The news marks the first detail of how the £400 support that then Chancellor announced in May to help people through the cost of living crisis will be paid out.

The support, which also came alongside more targeted efforts for the worst off households, came in response to predictions that energy bills would rise to £2,800 for the average household in October.

But since then the forecasts have got even bleaker, consultancy BFY believes bills could hit £3,420 per year from October, before rising further in January.

Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “People across the country are understandably worried about the global rise in energy costs, and the pressure this is placing on everyday bills.

“While no government can control global gas prices, we have a responsibility to step in where we can and this significant £400 discount on energy bills we’re providing will go some way to help millions of families over the colder months.”

How to reduce your energy bills

How will the £400 energy payment be paid?

How the money is received will depend on how you pay your bill.

Those who pay by direct debit will see an automatic deduction on their monthly or quarterly bills.

Those with "smart" pre-payment devices will see an automatic monthly top-up added to their account.

Traditional prepayment meter customers will be provided with Energy Bill discount vouchers in the first week of each month, issued via SMS text, email or post. They will then be able to redeem these in person at their usual top-up points.