Cant seem to get Alternative Fuel Payment

We are a small community of 6 houses - none of which are able to get gas and are either on oil or Air Source Heating.
Our postcode is not registered on the off-gas-live postcodes (could be cos a business in this postcode away from the houses has recently had gas installed but we cannot connect to it)
Tried to fill in the government for to claim direct as energy supplier cannot do it and found we cannot apply as we are on Air Source Heating (recently transferred from oil) and this is not an option.
Is there a help line that anyone knows of where you can actually speak to a person to ask what we can do to both get onto the postcode database in the first instance and then look to claim if we are on ASH. 

Comments

  • Spoonie_Turtle
    Spoonie_Turtle Posts: 8,383 Forumite
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    bockbees said:
    We are a small community of 6 houses - none of which are able to get gas and are either on oil or Air Source Heating.
    Our postcode is not registered on the off-gas-live postcodes (could be cos a business in this postcode away from the houses has recently had gas installed but we cannot connect to it)
    Tried to fill in the government for to claim direct as energy supplier cannot do it and found we cannot apply as we are on Air Source Heating (recently transferred from oil) and this is not an option.
    Is there a help line that anyone knows of where you can actually speak to a person to ask what we can do to both get onto the postcode database in the first instance and then look to claim if we are on ASH. 
    You can't do either of those things.

    If any part of your postcode is on the grid, your postcode is not off the gas grid.

    That was not the only criterion for automatic payment.  The second was that you had to be somewhere with predominantly not electric heating.

    The AFP was for fuels that are an alternative to mains gas or electricity.  You using an ASHP means you don't qualify on that basis.  Notionally electric is supposed to be roughly on par with gas per kWh of heating - storage heaters charging on off-peak, and heat pumps theoretically ~350% efficient … we know that's not the case for everyone, I'd even go so far as to posit it's not the case for most people if they've been installed in social housing rather than homeowners making that decision and having a say in the process and learning how best to set them up. 

    But none of that is really relevant to the government's intent.  The point was that electric and mains gas have had a discount on unit rates whereas the alternative fuels are unregulated in price and with no financial support at source.  So the £200 is to give some financial support towards it.
  • Thanks for the response - not what the oil users wanted to hear - it is only due to the fact that a crematorium has recently been built which needs gas which has put our postcode on the gas grid.  
  • thozza
    thozza Posts: 304 Forumite
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    bockbees said:
    Thanks for the response - not what the oil users wanted to hear - it is only due to the fact that a crematorium has recently been built which needs gas which has put our postcode on the gas grid.  
    The oil users are entitled to the alternative fuel payment, they will have to apply individually, it's only electric based heating that is not eligible when applying through the website. 
  • mmmmikey
    mmmmikey Posts: 1,619 Forumite
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    ....and here is a link to the website @thozza mentions above:


    Just to be absolutely clear on this. There are some areas of the country where there's no gas and records show that in those areas most people use something other than electricity for heating. The government doesn't know who uses what but rather than faff around asking everyone to apply they just pay everyone in that area the AFP. Of course that does mean some will folk get a payment they wouldn't otherwise be entitled to - but hey, if it saves the taxpayer money (because they avoid a stack of burearacracy and admin costs) and some people get a £200 bonus who cares?

    There are lots of people who don't get the payment automatically but that doesn't mean they're not entitled to it. They just have to apply for it via the website above, which cheks their eligibility by asking a few questions. It then asks for bank details so that payment can be made and proof of elgibility in the form of receipts for alternative fuel. All very straightforward if you have receipts which most of the oil users in your community will probably have.

    Hope this helps :)

    p.s. unfortunately air source heat pump users can't get the subsidy - I'm sure there are lots of folks on this forum who will happily debate the rights and wrongs of that, but that's the way it is....

  • Reed_Richards
    Reed_Richards Posts: 4,119 Forumite
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    mmmmikey said:
    ..There are some areas of the country where there's no gas and records show that in those areas most people use something other than electricity for heating.....some will folk get a payment they wouldn't otherwise be entitled to - but hey, if it saves the taxpayer money (because they avoid a stack of burearacracy and admin costs) and some people get a £200 bonus who cares?

    p.s. unfortunately air source heat pump users can't get the subsidy - I'm sure there are lots of folks on this forum who will happily debate the rights and wrongs of that, but that's the way it is....

    The whole AFP thing is nonsensical; for years mains gas was the cheapest fuel you could buy.  Now heating oil is cheaper than mains gas, the government hands out a £200 bonus to heating oil users.  But if you're trying to save the planet by reducing your CO2 emissions by using a heat pump there's no subsidy.  That's unless you live in the right area, as I do.  I have an ASHP and I did get the payment because I live in an area where there's no gas.              
    Reed
  • Qyburn
    Qyburn Posts: 2,284 Forumite
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    There's a good chance you received more than £200 In the form of EPG subsidies on your heat pump's electricity. Around 17p per kWh from October to December, and 31p per kWh January to March. 
  • Spoonie_Turtle
    Spoonie_Turtle Posts: 8,383 Forumite
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    mmmmikey said:
    ..There are some areas of the country where there's no gas and records show that in those areas most people use something other than electricity for heating.....some will folk get a payment they wouldn't otherwise be entitled to - but hey, if it saves the taxpayer money (because they avoid a stack of burearacracy and admin costs) and some people get a £200 bonus who cares?

    p.s. unfortunately air source heat pump users can't get the subsidy - I'm sure there are lots of folks on this forum who will happily debate the rights and wrongs of that, but that's the way it is....

    The whole AFP thing is nonsensical; for years mains gas was the cheapest fuel you could buy.  Now heating oil is cheaper than mains gas, the government hands out a £200 bonus to heating oil users.  But if you're trying to save the planet by reducing your CO2 emissions by using a heat pump there's no subsidy.  That's unless you live in the right area, as I do.  I have an ASHP and I did get the payment because I live in an area where there's no gas*.              
    … *and the predominant form of heating there is not electric (or at least, according to the census).

    The rights and wrongs of it are one issue, but the biggest issue for me is the fact that this help was promised and should therefore be paid to everyone eligible for it.  The manual application specifying a date range for receipts may well have put off many people applying who were supposed to have got the payment, the fact we know the date range isn't absolute is only down to people applying anyway and reporting back.  Probably the vast majority of people needing to apply don't know that's the case, so many won't apply because they understandably think they'll be turned down if they don't have the receipts specified by the online form.
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