Major energy bill update as more households can now get £200 in free cash – are you eligible? | The Sun

HOUSEHOLDS can get an extra £200 in free cash to help pay for bills.

The support comes from the Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP) scheme which has now been extended.

The government is granting households off the gas grid £200 this spring.

To be off the gas grid means you don't use mains gas. That means you'll only get the cash if you warm your home using alternative energy sources such as heating oil, biomass and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

Previously, you were only eligible for the payment if you used alternative fuels as far back as September 2022.

But, as of yesterday (April 12), that's been extended back to June 2022 so that more people can claim the free cash.

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Anyone using alternative fuels between June 2022 and May 2023 can now apply on the government website.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) was not able to confirm how many more households can claim the free cash now, as it depends on a number of factors.

These include buying habits, particularly how many households chose to bulk-buy alternative heating fuels last summer.

Do note the majority of these payments were credited onto electricity bills automatically in February 2023.

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But if you live in park homes or on static houseboats with no direct energy supplier, you'll need to apply through an online portal on the government website.

You'll also need to do this if you're on the gas grid but without a gas connection and using alternative fuels as your main heating source.

To apply, make sure you have the following to hand:

  • an email address or phone number
  • your bank details
  • alternative fuel receipts or other proof that you've been using it within the allotted time period

You can submit up to 10 receipts when applying for the cash.

It's only a one-off payment though, and you'll be told if your application was successful up to six weeks after submitting it.

Grant Shapps, secretary of state for energy security and net zero said: “We have already stepped in and paid half of a typical household energy bill, but we also always want to make sure support gets to those who need it.

“That’s why today we’re again stepping in to make sure those households using heating oil, LPG, biomass and more, can submit receipts for fuel purchases as far back as June 2022, because we recognise many households will have bought ahead of winter.”

Businesses running off the grid, including shops, offices, libraries, schools, hospitals, factories and farms should have mostly received a one-off £150 as part of the scheme too.

You might need to apply on the portal for this too if you haven't, so keep your Meter Point Access Number (MPAN) handy.

More than 1.6million are thought to currently rely on heating oil, including those in rural homes.

More energy support

A £900 payment will be going out to millions on means-tested benefits and Universal Credit this year.

To be eligible for the payment, households will need to be claiming at least one of the following:

  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit
  • Tax Credits (Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit)
  • Housing Benefit
  • Council Tax Support
  • Social Fund (Sure Start Maternity Grant, Funeral Payment, Cold Weather Payment)
  • Universal Credit

The first £301 of it will be made directly into bank accounts between April 25 and May 17.

If you were receiving any of the above benefits between January 26 and February 25 this year you will receive the £301 payment.

If you were later found to be entitled to any of the above benefits between these qualifying dates you will be eligible for the payment too.

For those receiving the £301 payment from the DWP, it will show in your bank account as "DWP COLP" along with your National Insurance (NI) number.

Elderly Brits will also receive another one-off £300 pensioner cost of living payment this summer.

Those with certain disabilities will also qualify for a further £150 cost of living payment.

Energy suppliers also offer plenty of energy grants and schemes to help you out if you're struggling. Here's a list of schemes open right now:

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  • British Gas Energy Trust Individuals and Family Fund
  • British Gas Energy Trust
  • EDF Customer Support Fund
  • E.ON and E.ON Next Grants
  • Octopus Energy Assist Fund
  • OVO Energy
  • Scottish Power Hardship Fund

There's also a one-off fuel voucher from your energy supplier if you're on a prepayment meter.

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