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Alternative Fuel Payment

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Dr_Alan_Jones
Dr_Alan_Jones Posts: 1 Newbie
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As one of the approximate 2 million households that are off-grid for heating I was pleased to learn the government are planning to pay £200 in February to help with the cost of fuels such as heating oil and biomass etc.  However, as Martin Lewis himself said a couple of weeks ago, information is thin on the ground as to how off-grid users will be identified, so I decided to call my energy supplier, Scottish Power, today.  I received a reply from a SP representative saying "you are the first person to have asked a question about the AFP and how off-grid users will be identified."  He went on to say that he didn't know so off he went to talk to his supervisor.  After several minutes on hold he returned to say that while SP would process any request to pay the AFP they have no knowledge of who is and who isn't entitled to the AFP.  The representative went on to say that the government apparently will contact those who they believe are entitled to this payment and once confirmed (through writing to those households) then they, the government, will instruct energy suppliers to make the payments available.
Would be interested to know if any other forum member can confirm what I have been told, because to my mind the proposed system is so full of holes it will never work.
Regards,
Alan Jones
«13456

Comments

  • 400ixl
    400ixl Posts: 2,996 Forumite
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    No one knows for sure. It is unlikely they will write to every individual household. More likely they will identify postcodes which do not have gas supplies and use that, instructing the electricity supplier to pay those, complete will all the holes in the process.. But this is an assumption and we all know what assumptions can lead to.

    You won't have been the first person to ask SP about it, maybe that individual hasn't been asked directly though.

    Its just a case of wait and see.
  • Spoonie_Turtle
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    Hot off the press!

    Customer eligibility
    3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 BEIS produce a list of Meter Point Access Numbers (MPANs) which BEIS has determined (see paragraphs 3.5-3.6 below) correspond to households who – if otherwise eligible – should be paid the Alternative Fuel Payment automatically through their electricity supplier.

    BEIS will in early February provide to each electricity supplier a subset of MPANs for which each supplier is responsible.  Suppliers will receive MPANs for consumers with whom they have an existing relationship. Each MPAN will be provided to only one supplier.

    Suppliers are responsible for determining which MPANs correspond to an eligible customer, where eligible customer means a domestic customer who is party to a Domestic Supply Contract or a Deemed Contract for electricity supply which relates to a domestic premises at 00:00 hours on 1 February (the qualifying date), with only one Domestic Customer per Domestic Supply Contract or Deemed Contract per Domestic Premises being an eligible customer. 

    Suppliers are not responsible for paying any customer who does not correspond to a provided MPAN, regardless of their relationship with this customer.

    Data matching
    3.5 The following sets out the basic approach followed by BEIS in matching the various data sets and extracting the relevant list of MPANs for each supplier, identifying consumers to receive automatic payments for the AFP:

    a. Off gas grid postcodes. Xoserve have published a list of GB postcodes where there is no active gas meter point connection. Gas connection record as of 13 December 20221.

    b. Postcode look-up. ONS’s National Statistics Postcode Lookup is used to map active GB postcodes to Lower layer Super Output Areas (LSOA). Data published on 24 November 20222.

    c. Census data on heating type. Provided by ONS and is used to identify the LSOAs that are eligible for automatic payments. BEIS will use this data to eliminate LSOAs that have been identified as predominantly having houses which heat their homes via electricity, as houses which are primarily electrically heated are not in scope of the Alternative Fuel Payment. Households which are primarily alternatively fuelled but have been eliminated through this process are eligible for the AFP Alternative Fund (see paragraph 1.6). 

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/domestic-alternative-fuel-payment-afp-scheme-in-great-britain-guidance-for-electricity-suppliers
  • GingerTim
    GingerTim Posts: 2,075 Forumite
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    edited 24 January 2023 at 5:51AM
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    So it appears, in relation to regular questions raised on the forum, that anyone with a sub-meter on a  commercial supply (HMOs, park homes, boats etc) isn't going to be eligible.
  • Spoonie_Turtle
    Spoonie_Turtle Posts: 8,603 Forumite
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    edited 24 January 2023 at 6:12AM
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    GingerTim said:
    So it appears, in relation to regular questions raised on the forum, that anyone with a sub-meter on a  commercial supply (HMOs, park homes, boats etc) isn't going to be eligible.
    Not automatically eligible, no.  They'll have to apply using the same as-yet nonexistent portal that's supposed to be up and running for the £400 EBSS Alternative Funding within this month. 

    "1.6 Alternative funding will be available to provide the £200 payment to those households in Great Britain who will not be able to receive automatic payments under the scheme."

    [N.B. the page I linked was to guidance for suppliers, who can only pay their customers.  So that particular document does not have any further detail about people without a domestic electricity account.]

  • GingerTim
    GingerTim Posts: 2,075 Forumite
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    GingerTim said:
    So it appears, in relation to regular questions raised on the forum, that anyone with a sub-meter on a  commercial supply (HMOs, park homes, boats etc) isn't going to be eligible.
    Not automatically eligible, no.  They'll have to apply using the same as-yet nonexistent portal that's supposed to be up and running for the £400 EBSS Alternative Funding within this month. 

    "1.6 Alternative funding will be available to provide the £200 payment to those households in Great Britain who will not be able to receive automatic payments under the scheme."

    [N.B. the page I linked was to guidance for suppliers, who can only pay their customers.  So that particular document does not have any further detail about people without a domestic electricity account.]

    Ta for the clarification!
  • grantb19
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    just spoken to UWDC (my electicity supplier) about the alternative fuel payment (Domestic Oil, in my case). They are aware of the scheme but have 'no instructions as to how to apply it' and 'have no way of knowing how to judge who is entitled to it'; they don't have a database of Oil Users - why would they??
    they say that they're awaiting government advice. 
    Anyone any thoughts/knowledge please?
  • Spoonie_Turtle
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    grantb19 said:
    just spoken to UWDC (my electicity supplier) about the alternative fuel payment (Domestic Oil, in my case). They are aware of the scheme but have 'no instructions as to how to apply it' and 'have no way of knowing how to judge who is entitled to it'; they don't have a database of Oil Users - why would they??
    they say that they're awaiting government advice. 
    Anyone any thoughts/knowledge please?
    The government will give them a list of who is automatically eligible, based on living in an area which is off the mains gas grid and where the census data shows people's predominant form of central heating is something other than electricity.  Payments are due to commence from Monday (the 6th Feb).

    People who don't qualify automatically will have to apply through a portal which is due to open at the end of this month.
  • Book_of_Roger_2
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    grantb19 said:
    just spoken to UWDC (my electicity supplier) about the alternative fuel payment (Domestic Oil, in my case). They are aware of the scheme but have 'no instructions as to how to apply it' and 'have no way of knowing how to judge who is entitled to it'; they don't have a database of Oil Users - why would they??
    they say that they're awaiting government advice. 
    Anyone any thoughts/knowledge please?
    The government will give them a list of who is automatically eligible, based on living in an area which is off the mains gas grid and where the census data shows people's predominant form of central heating is something other than electricity.  Payments are due to commence from Monday (the 6th Feb).

    People who don't qualify automatically will have to apply through a portal which is due to open at the end of this month.

    No great confidence that I will see anything from my electricity supplier (EDF) where I live - a village in Oxfordshire where there is a mix of oil and gas domestic users. Hopefully there will be an on-line portal and I might get some money sometime.  To see the nature of the problem try nongasmap-do-org-uk (MSE won't let me post the actual web link)
  • Spoonie_Turtle
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    grantb19 said:
    just spoken to UWDC (my electicity supplier) about the alternative fuel payment (Domestic Oil, in my case). They are aware of the scheme but have 'no instructions as to how to apply it' and 'have no way of knowing how to judge who is entitled to it'; they don't have a database of Oil Users - why would they??
    they say that they're awaiting government advice. 
    Anyone any thoughts/knowledge please?
    The government will give them a list of who is automatically eligible, based on living in an area which is off the mains gas grid and where the census data shows people's predominant form of central heating is something other than electricity.  Payments are due to commence from Monday (the 6th Feb).

    People who don't qualify automatically will have to apply through a portal which is due to open at the end of this month.

    No great confidence that I will see anything from my electricity supplier (EDF) where I live - a village in Oxfordshire where there is a mix of oil and gas domestic users. Hopefully there will be an on-line portal and I might get some money sometime.  To see the nature of the problem try nongasmap-do-org-uk (MSE won't let me post the actual web link)
    The data the government are using is a list from Xoserve, linked in the supplier guidance upthread - the first footnote reference on page 8. You can find out if your specific postcode is counted as having mains gas or not

    https://www.xoserve.com/media/fadn4tnc/off-gas-live-postcodes2022.xlsx?term=Off-gas

    But yes, anyone who doesn't get it automatically will have to apply. Presumably they'll request some proof of the alternative fuel applicants are using.
  • Jyana
    Jyana Posts: 751 Forumite
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    Looks like accounts became eligible for the Alternative Fuel Payments from yesterday. Haven't heard of anyone receiving it as yet though so not sure if this is actually implemented by any of the energy companies, or just a quiet press release from the government so any further delays won't be on their heads. 

    The line about requiring bank statements for those that need to apply concerns me a little as there will no doubt be those that successfully exploit it. So though I'm am glad to see them give the warning here, I do hope it is stressed a little more firmly during the actual application process so that it's not possible to gloss over the sentence.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/households-businesses-and-organisations-off-the-gas-grid-to-receive-energy-bill-support-over-the-coming-weeks

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