Government energy support schemes – update
We wanted to update you on two Government schemes that have recently launched to help
people who haven’t yet received automatic financial assistance from any energy support
Government’s Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS AF)
The EBSS AF is providing support of £400 for energy bills for households in England,
Scotland, and Wales without a direct relationship to a domestic electricity supplier.
The Government scheme is now open to all eligible households until 31 May 2023.
Subject to applications meeting the eligibility criteria, people who will be able to receive
support under EBSS AF include:
• care home residents and others in care facilities (wholly or partly self-funded)
• park home residents, houseboats/residential mooring and caravans that can provide
proof of address.
• social and private tenants who pay for energy through a landlord on a commercial
• homes on a heat network/private wire
• off-grid homes
• farmhouses used for wholly domestic purposes.
Anyone eligible for EBSS AF will need to fill out a short online form via the GOV.UK website.
The form can be found by searching “Apply for energy bill support if you do not get it
automatically” into the search bar on GOV.UK or an internet search engine. Applications are
made directly to the Government, not to or via us at the council. For those who do not have
online access, they can apply via a contact centre on 08081 753287 where a representative
will guide them through the application process.
Once they have applied, the application will be processed and verified. After this, if the
application is successful, details will be shared with us, and we will deliver the one-off,
non-repayable support payment. We have been allocated £3,154,800 to distribute locally
and this would equate to 7,887 awards of £400 per eligible household.
The payment will be made directly into the bank account in a single instalment. Further
information can be found on www.gov.uk.
Alternative Fuels Payment (AFP)
The Government has also announced a ‘sister’ scheme called Alternative Fuels Payment
(AFP) for people that use alternative fuels for heating.
People may be eligible for a £200 Alternative Fuels Payment (AFP) if both the following are
• their household is not connected to the mains gas grid
• they use alternative fuels as their main form of heating
This one-off payment would be on top of the £400 from their electricity supplier.
People are eligible for this payment if the main way they heat their home uses:
• tank or bottled gas
• liquid petroleum gas (LPG)
• solid fuel
Most homes that are eligible for this payment will get it automatically as a credit on their
electricity bills, but they may not get the payment automatically if their home is either:
• in an area which is mainly connected to the gas grid
• not connected to either the gas or the electricity grid
If people do not receive this payment automatically, they have to apply for this payment
through the same method as the AFP Alternative Fund, for example, because they do not
have a contract with an electricity supplier. Wiltshire Council will help process the payments
made through the Government’s portal, which is the same one used for EBSS AF. Wiltshire
Council has been given £708k funding to distribute locally as part of this scheme.
We recognise that people will want access to the funding from these schemes quickly and
we’re working hard to ensure this happens, but we are asking residents for patience as we
only received formal guidance very shortly before they went ‘live’ and are looking to put the
resources and infrastructure in place to support this significant and important work.
Other support the council has provided during the cost-of-living crisis
A reminder that the council has a range of support, advice and guidance on our dedicated
cost-of-living pages which can be found at www.wiltshire.gov.uk/cost-of-living. We’d
welcome you sharing this link with your contacts and communities.
To help support people through the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, we have:
• Improved the efficiency of the 100 least energy efficient council houses through the
green homes grant.
• Created a community directory identifying warm spaces and community food
providers with 165 locations registered.
• Through its warm spaces project, given out more than 1,000 warm packs from its
libraries, along with referring 80 vulnerable residents to our warm and safe support
• Through the Warm and Safe advice service has provided support to 1,009 residents,
including 144 heating and insulation referrals and giving out over £56,000 in grants.
• Provided outreach support helping the boater and traveller communities with fuel and
food vouchers, working alongside Julian House.
• Helped distribute the hundreds of millions in energy support that Wiltshire residents
have received from central Government along with administering the targeted
Household Support Grant Scheme using almost £3m to support residents who need
most help with extra funding for families in the school holidays and support for
vulnerable older people.
• Supported council housing tenants to access more than £600,000 in benefits and
grants they were entitled to and had not claimed.
We have put information about these schemes at
https://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/article/6279/Overview which includes some FAQs. If you want
more information or clarification, please don’t hesitate to contact Ian Brown, Head of
Revenues & Benefits Central, at email@example.com