FROM today households across Great Britain who don’t use mains gas for heating will start receiving £200 towards their energy bills as the Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP) scheme launches. Most will get the £200 AFP automatically as a credit on their electricity bill but some customers will need to apply for the support later this month.
Nearly two million households who use alternative energy sources such as heating oil, biomass and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to warm their homes will receive the support which was doubled to £200 last year.
The vast majority, including many homes in rural areas, will get it automatically through their electricity supplier as a credit on their bill throughout February. A small minority of customers, such as those living in park homes or on static houseboats with no direct energy supplier, will need to apply to receive the payment through an online portal that will launch later this month.
Meanwhile from Wednesday, energy suppliers will also be able to start making payments to businesses and both public and voluntary sector organisations that use alternative fuels to heat their buildings. A credit of £150 will be provided to eligible customers across the UK through the Non-Domestic Alternative Fuel Payment scheme (ND-AFP). Suppliers will deliver this support up to 10 March, with most customers expected to receive it later this month. There is no need to contact your supplier.
This comes as new figures show that, thanks to the Government’s Energy Bill Relief Scheme, £3 billion has been cut from business energy bills in just over three months – helping both private and public sector organisations from schools, to hospitals and pubs.
Minister for Energy and Climate Graham Stuart said:
“Our main energy bill support schemes have seen millions of homes and businesses across the country get much needed help to cover costs, with figures today showing nearly £3 billion in government support has been paid out to business to date. Now we’re getting support to those remaining few that are off the gas grid and most difficult to reach.
“I am determined to see households and businesses of all stripes protected from global pressures this winter – whether that’s those living in a houseboat, park home or operating a rural hospital or school.
“That’s why we are kicking off payments of £200 to households using alternative fuel to heat their homes today – while businesses and organisations using alternative fuels will receive a boost of £150 in the coming weeks.”
Ministers are today warning households to stay vigilant to scams and only to enter their details on the Government’s gov.uk website, which will provide all official communications, if applying for support. No one will be asked for information by any individual or organisation prior to this or outside of the portal. Those that require additional help when applying for support may wish to seek assistance from a family member or trusted friend.
These schemes form part of a suite of energy bill support for domestic and non-domestic customers across the UK for winter 2022-23.
On the domestic side, the Energy Price Guarantee is saving a typical UK household £900 over this winter by reducing the unit cost of electricity and gas, while the Energy Bills Support Scheme provides a further £400 off electricity bills through a monthly discount of £66 or £67. So the average family is saving £1300 altogether while more vulnerable households have received £800 on top of that as well – making a £2100 saving.
Businesses and other non-domestic customers are also benefitting from Government support on a comparable basis. The Energy Bill Relief Scheme provides a direct subsidy of wholesale electricity and gas prices until the end of March, protecting jobs in charities and businesses alike. This will then be replaced by the Energy Bills Discount Scheme from April, which will offer universal support albeit at a reduced rate to protect the public finances.