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Energy VAT Rebate

How can you find money here?


Most charities qualify to pay the domestic rate of  VAT on their energy (5% rather than 20%) and are also exempt from Climate Change Levy which takes another lump off their bill. However not all charities are aware of this and neither does everyone know that the onus is on them to tell the supplier (about their charity status) in order to reduce the bill. Anyone who has missed out on this, however, can have their bills backdated by up to four years.

Even if  you are currently paying 5% VAT it is still worth checking the VAT rate on your energy bills back to April 2014 because - even when you have filled out the necessary Declaration forms - bills do occasionally revert back to 20% by mistake.

Switching from one supplier to another may also result in losing the VAT reduction if  you fail to complete a declaration form with the new supplier. If this has happened to you, you can still claim the money back and, if you don’t have them on file, you can request copy bills from your supplier.

What do you need to do?


  1. Check an energy bill (ideally all bills for the last 4 years) to see if the VAT is charged at 5% or 20%.
  2. If it's 20%, visit your supplier’s website and download a VAT declaration form (you can use the search bar below to find your supplier's form).
  1. If you charge for the use of your building (eg a village hall), there may be some restrictions - see HMRC Guidance or get in touch with Back of the Sofa for clarification.
  2.  In correcting your VAT rate, your supplier also has a duty to refund overpayments made for the past 4 years as this is the timeframe that HMRC advises suppliers should backdate a correction in overpayments. This usually results in a substantial rebate. 
  3. Send the form to your supplier with a covering letter asking for the last 4 years to be corrected (see template letter).
  4. If you have any delays or need help, contact us on 0808 1645 808 or email us at help@backofthesofa.com.

What have other charities found?

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I kept putting off doing the Back to the Sofa health check as thought it would just be another one of those things to get your details then bombard you with rubbish but how wrong
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I kept putting off doing the Back to the Sofa health check as thought it would just be another one of those things to get your details then bombard you with rubbish but how wrong I was! By completing the health check Back to the Sofa picked up that we were being charged a higher rate of VAT than we should have been as a Charity and that we were being charged the Climate Levy we should not have been. So glad I bothered in the end as we have now received an overall refund from both our Electricity and Gas suppliers of around £1360.00!!! I would happily recommend taking the health check to anyone. Going forward we will save approx £100.00 a month, subject to the amount of gas and electricity we use of course which will mean more funds are available to help the many good causes we support. Thanks again Back to the Sofa!
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Karen Medler

Meadow Way Chapel

£1,360

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Back of the Sofa were extremely professional in assisting us with gaining a Vat Rebate. Nick dealt with all of our enquiries and ensured we got the best return possible. I would recommend to everyone.

Sammi Wills

The Priory Care Home

£8,500

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We’re going to book the Bahamas for our AGM (joke!)

Alastair Dinsmore

Glasgow Police Museum

Found £600

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