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Park home, houseboat and caravan residents can now get £400 energy bill help

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If you missed out on the Government’s £400 energy bill help because of your alternative living arrangements, you can now apply for the same level of support via an online application portal.

An estimated 900,000 households in England, Scotland and Wales without a direct relationship to a domestic electricity supplier can claim £400 energy bills help from today.

This includes care and park home residents, houseboat and caravan owners, homes on heat networks or private wire, off-grid homes and farmhouses, as well as social and private tenants who pay their energy through a landlord on a commercial supply.

The deadline to apply is 31 May 2023.

How will the energy funding be paid?

The £400 ‘alternative funding’ route of the Government’s Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS AF) will be paid as a one-off lump sum directly into eligible people’s bank accounts.

Ministers urge eligible households to apply as soon as possible for this support, but also warns people to stay alert to potential scams and report them to relevant authorities where they are suspected.

The Government said it will never provide any links to the application portal or ask people to apply for their support. But to check eligibility and apply for the £400 of support, people need to search for “apply for energy bill support if you do not get it automatically” in the search bar on GOV.UK or in an internet search engine. However, for ease, this is the link to the Government’s online portal which you can check against your own search.

For those without online access, there is a customer helpline to help. The number is 0808 175 3287 for applicants in Great Britain, or 0808 175 3894 for applicants in Northern Ireland. The lines are open from 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday.

Once customers have applied to receive energy support and their applications have been processed and verified, their details will be shared with local authorities across England, Scotland and Wales.

These authorities will then pay the sum. Local authorities may request additional information but only once an application has been made via the secure portal or helpline.

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.

This alternative funding comes as the Government said over £7.2bn has been provided to 97% of households through monthly instalments under EBBS which started in October and will last until March.

‘Thousands more can apply for £400’

Amanda Solloway, Minister at the department for energy security and net zero, said: “We understand the pressure households are under which is why we’ve already stepped in to pay around half of people’s energy bills this winter, and from today, thousands more will be able to apply securely for their £400.

“Today, I’m urging everyone who couldn’t get their EBSS discounts in the regular way to apply via our secure channels. If you don’t have a direct contract with an electricity supplier, it’s essential you submit your application as soon as possible. The sooner you do, the sooner help can get to you.”

Energy security secretary, Grant Shapps, is also urging local authorities to process applications as quickly as possible so households aren’t left waiting weeks after applying.

He also said there must be no further delays to rolling out the Alternative Fuel Payment Alternative Fund – a similar scheme for households who use alternative fuels as their main source of heating, providing £200 towards energy costs, which will go live by 6 March.

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