Personal Finance

New energy support worth £200 to be rolled out to 2 million households

New energy support worth up to £200 will be given out to households over the coming weeks.

The Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP) will see £200 given to households who do not use mains gas for their heating.

This is in addition to the £400 Energy Bills Support Scheme which was deducted from electricity bills.

Businesses using fuels other than gas will also be given £150 in credit under the scheme.

Most will get the credit automatically applied to their electricity bills but those who need to apply for the cash have been urged to stay vigilant for scams as fraudsters could try to get bank details.

Nearly 2 million households use alternative energy sources to gas for their heating, including oil, biomass and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

Of these, 1.5 million homes in the UK are thought to use oil to heat their homes, Nationwide Fuels reports.

In England and Wales alone, 865,940 households use oil as their only source of central heating, the 2021 Census found. This is about 3% across the two countries, but percentages are much higher in Wales and the East of England. For example, in Terrington and Clenchwarton in rural north west Norfolk, 60.6% of the population relies solely on oil. In Beulah, Troed-yr-aur & Llandysul in Wales, 52.8% of households heated their homes with oil.

The price of oil has rocketed in recent years, with no Government support to cap the price. A litre of oil cost 39.42p on February 2 2021, compared to 88.16p on February 1 2023, according to Boiler Juice. Prices spiked at 159.54 on March 10 2022 having been about 66p two weeks earlier, before returning to levels similar to today.

Most households will receive the £200 as credit on their electricity bill through the month of February. However those with no direct energy supplier, such as those who live in park homes or houseboats, will need to apply online to receive the payment. This online portal will launch later in February.

A similar process will begin for businesses and public and voluntary sector organisations from Wednesday, February 8, with £150 credit provided to UK customers automatically through the Non-Domestic Alternative Fuel Payment scheme. These customers, such as shops, offices, libraries, schools, hospitals, factories and farms, will receive the support by March 10, the Government said.

The small minority of customers who need to apply for the support via the government's online portal will need to enter their bank details into it.

Ministers have warned households to stay alert for scams, urging customers to only enter their details onto the Government's website. No one will be asked for information outside of the portal.


Helen Barnett

Helen is a journalist, editor and copywriter with 15 years' experience writing across print and digital publications. She previously edited the Daily Express website and has won awards as a reporter. Read more here.


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