People who use oil, Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) and other alternative fuels to heat their home, are eligible for £200 of support from the government’s Alternative Fuel Payment scheme; and Bath’s Lib Dem MP Wera Hobhouse is urging families, without a mains gas supply, to ensure they stake their claim.
Most of these payments are being automatically credited to customer’s electricity bills, but people without a direct electricity supply must apply for the money and the online portal for applications only opened this week.
Mrs Hobhouse is calling on the Government to ensure narrowboat residents without a permanent mooring are able to access the £200 payment along with other off-grid households.
She is also urging the Government to give families the option of a bank transfer instead of electricity credit so that they are able to use the money to pay for the alternative fuel bills the scheme is designed for.
Liberal Democrats wanted the Government to implement a price cap on heating oil and LPG which would have provided support to families far faster than the delayed Alternative Fuel Payment scheme.
Wera Hobhouse, MP for Bath, commented:
“Heating oil and gas are extremely expensive and many families in Bath have had to suffer through a long and cold winter before getting any support.
“It is disappointing the Government has waited until March to organise winter fuel payments but now that the online portal is open, it is important that nobody misses out on the money they are eligible for.
“I know many people have been frustrated by the eligibility rules and the payments being given as credits on electricity bills instead of cash.
“The rules regarding receipts that were blocking some applications have now been changed so hopefully the Government will also listen to our other points and ensure everyone in need is able to access the support.”
The link to the Government’s online portal can be found here.