The UK Government is set to release financial aid to 900,000 more households across England, Scotland and Wales as part of the Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding (EBSS AF) route.
Accessed via an online application portal, households without a direct relationship to an electricity supplier, such as those living in park homes and cares homes, are now able to apply via the portal to access £400 in financial aid with energy bills.
The financial aid is provided as a one-off, non-repayable lump sum.
The EBSS provides households with £400 across six months from October 2022, to limit the impact of the surging power prices amongst other cost of living crisis strains. This comes alongside support measures such as the Energy Price Guarantee, which aims to cap domestic energy bills.
The alternative funding route is the latest in a range of targeted measures, which are covering around half of a typical household’s energy bills this winter, the government 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,” said Amanda Solloway, minister at the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero.
“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.”
The online portal follows a successful pilot scheme in which local authorities across the UK aimed to refine the process in acquiring financial support on energy bills.
Once customers have applied to receive energy bills support and the applications have been processed and verified, eligible customers’ details will be shared with local authorities. These will then distribute the financial support in a lump sum.
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, the government said.
The government confirmed Energy Security Secretary Grant Shapps will thank local authorities for the support in developing the scheme. However he will emphasise the need to roll out the Alternative Fuel Payment Alternative Fund – a similar scheme for households that use alternative fuels as their main source of heating.
The scheme will provide £200 towards energy costs and is set to go live by 6 March 2023.