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Energy Bill Support schemes

Energy Bill Support Schemes – Alternative Funding

On 19 December 2022, the Government announced that around 900,000 households in England, Scotland, and Wales who are not entitled to the Energy Support Scheme from their Utility companies may be entitled to a £400 payment through the Alternative Funding Scheme.

Payments to households that meet the eligibility criteria, including people who get their energy through a commercial contract or who are off-grid, will be made by local authorities in Great Britain.

Most households who don’t have a direct relationship with a domestic energy supplier have already been benefitting from subsidised energy bills through the government’s business support scheme, with the Energy Prices Act legislation passed earlier in the year to ensure those benefits are passed on to consumers who do not pay their energy bills directly. For full details of this announcement please visit the website.

Eligible homes

You may be eligible to apply if your main home is:

  • a residential park home
  • on a boat on a permanent residential mooring
  • on a permanent Gypsy and Traveller site
  • part of a heat network without an electricity meter
  • in social or private rented accommodation which has a business energy connection or a communal electricity supply
  • off the mains electricity or gas grid
  • in a care home or assisted living facility and you pay for some or all of your care
  • in a separate domestic home within a non-domestic property (such as a farmhouse or a flat above a shop).

Who should apply

You can apply if:

  • you pay for the energy your household uses
  • you’re applying for your main, permanent home
  • you have a fixed address in England, Scotland or Wales.

Who cannot apply

Most households get the £400 support automatically. You do not need to apply if you or your landlord:

  • has a domestic energy meter
  • pay your bills directly to an energy supplier (such as British Gas or EDF)

You cannot apply if you’ve already had Energy Bills Support Scheme payments. This is 6 automatic monthly payments or prepayment meter vouchers of £66 or £67 from your energy supplier, from October 2022.

If you think you should have got a payment but have not, contact your energy supplier.

You also cannot apply for a discount if you live:

  • in purpose-built student accommodation
  • in a care home and do not pay any of your fees
  • on a boat with a continuous cruising licence
  • on a non-permanent caravan or mobile home site

You will be able to apply for any eligible address from 27 February 2023.

To make the process as simple as possible for consumers, those who are eligible for the EBSS Alternative Funding will need to submit a short online form via the website.

You will need:

  • an email address and phone number (if you have one)
  • your bank account details (a UK current account in your name)

If you’re not registered for Council Tax

You’ll need to upload proof of address (such as a bank statement or tenancy agreement) as part of your application.

If you live in a care home

You’ll also need to upload either:

  • an invoice for your care home fees from the past 3 months
  • an official document from the care home including your name and address, a funding statement and the name and address of the care home.

Sandwell Council will not be responsible for collating the information required to determine eligibility for this scheme, and therefore, all enquiries will need to be directed to the website or by contacting a Government Advisor Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm by telephone on 0808 175 3287

What happens next?

After you apply, as your local council we will check you live at the address you apply for.

You’ll be told about the progress of your application by email or letter and you should get a response within 4 weeks.

If you’re eligible, we will arrange for a one-off payment, that does not need to be repaid, to be paid into your bank account.

Energy Bill Support Schemes – Alternative Fuel Payments

On 19 December 2022, the Government also announced that they are providing a further £200 Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP) to help those households in Great Britain who use alternative fuels such as biomass or heating oil to meet energy costs this winter. Most households eligible for this Energy support in Great Britain, will receive payment automatically via their electricity supplier in February, with no need to take any action. 

Those households who will need to apply for the AFP, for example because they do not have a relationship with an electricity supplier, will be able to do so in February, through the same GOV.UK portal as the one that will be used to apply for support under the EBSS Alternative Funding scheme.

Sandwell Council will not be responsible for collating the information required to determine eligibility for this scheme, and therefore, all enquiries will need to be directed to the Government website. For full details of this announcement please visit the website.

What happens next?

We are awaiting further guidance from the Government and our software providers in relation to this scheme and we will keep our website updated with more information when it is received, and the date once known of when the application process will be available.

Meanwhile we would ask that you do not contact us regarding this scheme.