Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Fund November 2022 UPDATE
I know many of my residents have been anxiously awaiting further news on the £400 Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding. This is help for those households who do not have a domestic energy supply and have not received support through the main Energy Bills Support Scheme, such as residents of park homes and caravans.
I have been told the scheme will open for applications in Great Britain in January 2023. The exact date that an eligible household will receive support will depend on when the application is made and when the payment can be processed by the relevant Local Authority.
As there is no single register of eligible households, payment is a complicated matter. However the Government has worked through a number of alternative delivery options, and concluded that the best way to deliver the scheme is through Local Authorities who are best placed to process applications and carry out verification checks.
I will be sure to update residents again once there is more information on this scheme and how to apply.
Rebecca Harris (30th Nov 2022)
Fewer than 5% of households in Great Britain and Northern Ireland do not have a direct contract with an electricity supplier or an electricity meter of their own. This includes residents of park homes, Rebecca wrote to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy in June 2022 about the £400 grant, asking for clarification on how Park Homes residents can still benefit. The Government confirmed in August that further funding will be available to provide equivalent support of £400 for energy bills for the 1% of households who will not be reached through the EBSS. This includes those who do not have a domestic electricity meter or a direct relationship with an energy supplier, such as park home residents. In October 2022, the new Energy Prices Bill introduced in Parliament, which provides the legislative footing needed to ensure that people and businesses across the UK receive support with their energy bills this winter through the Energy Price Guarantee for domestic consumers and Energy Bill Relief Scheme for businesses and non-domestic properties. This includes essential measures that will require landlords and heat network operators to pass benefits through to tenants.
This scheme is intended to provide the £400 of support for households across the UK that would otherwise miss out on the Energy Bills Support Scheme, as they do not have a domestic electricity contract- like Park Home residents. The Alternative Funding will be made available for this winter, with an announcement on this in due course. An eligible household will be able to fill out a short form on GOV.UK with a few simple details, including their name and address. Much of this data will be verified up-front to reduce burdens on Local Authorities, who will then verify the address and administer the payment. The Government is currently finishing and testing the application model, including verification and anti-fraud measures.
The Government has also announced the Alternative Fuel Payment scheme....
The Alternative Fuel Payment scheme will provide a £200 payment to UK (Great Britain and NI) households that use alternative fuels for heating, such as heating oil or LPG, instead of mains gas. This will ensure that households who do not benefit through the Energy Price Guarantee to heat their homes, receive support for the cost of the fuel they do use. The majority of households eligible for these payments will receive £200 automatically as a credit on their electricity bill this winter. The details of when this payment will be made will be confirmed shortly. The Government is committed to delivering this support to customers as fast as possible and will ensure that households who are eligible for but who do not receive Alternative Fuel Payment automatically, for example because they do not have a relationship with an electricity supplier, will be able to receive the £200 by applying online. Details of how to do this will be confirmed shortly.
Castle Point Council: https://www.castlepoint.gov.uk/alternative-support-for-household-energy…
In the meantime, if you are looking for extra help with the rising Cost of Living please visit: https://helpforhouseholds.campaign.gov.uk
£650 Cost of Living payment for those on benefits
More than 8 million households on means tested benefits will receive a payment of £650. This includes all households who receive Universal Credit, Income-based Jobseekers Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Pension Credit. Department of Work and Pensions will make the payment in two lump sums – the first from July, the second in the autumn. Payments from HMRC for those on Tax Credits only will follow shortly after each to ensure there are no duplicate payments. The government will make these payments directly to households across the UK.
£300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment
All pensioner households will receive an extra £300 to help them cover the rising cost of energy this winter. Pensioners are disproportionately impacted by higher energy costs, and many low-income pensioner households do not claim the means tested benefits they are entitled to. This payment will go to the over 8 million pensioner households who receive the Winter Fuel Payment. The Pensioner Cost of Living Payment will come as a top-up to annual Winter Fuel Payments in November/December. For most pensioner households, this will be paid by direct debit, is not taxable and does not affect eligibility for other benefits. The government will make these payments directly to households across the UK.
£150 Disability Cost of Living Payment
People with disabilities will receive an extra £150 to help with the particular extra costs they face. Six million people who receive Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, Attendance Allowance, Scottish Disability Benefits, Armed Forces Independence Payment, Constant Attendance Allowance and War Pension Mobility Supplement will receive the support as a one off payment in September. These payments will be exempt from tax, will not count towards the benefit cap, and will not have any impact on existing benefit awards. The government will make these payments directly to households across the UK.
Household Support Fund
The Household Support Fund will provide £1 billion this financial year to help households who are not eligible for other kinds of help or need further support. The Household Support Fund helps those in most need with the cost of essentials such as food, clothing and utilities and, in England, will continue to be distributed to Local Authorities, who are best placed to direct help to those who need it most. In May 2022, the Government announced a further £500 million of support via the scheme, which will now run until March 2023. This is on top of £1 billion of support made available since October 2021.