What is the Alternative Fuels Payment? Everything you need to know

As the cost of living crisis causes concern for households across the country, government schemes have been put in place to help many pay their energy bills.

The government launched an Energy Price Guarantee last autumn, which limited the annual energy bill for the average household to £2,500 – which remains in place until June 2023.

There will also be additional support for those who receive benefit payments, including Cost of Living Payments throughout 2023, as well as the 10.1% uplift for millions due to inflation.

However, much of the previous support when it comes to fuel costs has only covered people who use mains gas.

For those who use alternative fuel, you might be eligible for the Alternative Fuels Payment (AFP) – but what exactly is it and who can receive it?

What is the Alternative Fuels Payment?

The AFP is a one-off £200 grant from the government intended to support people who get their heating through a different means to mains gas.

Who is eligible for the Alternative Fuels Payment?

According to the gov.uk website, people in England, Scotland and Wales may be eligible for the £200 AFP grant if both the following are true:

  • Your household is not connected to the mains gas grid
  • You use alternative fuels as your main form of heating.

In order to be eligible for this payment, the main way you heat your home must be through one of the following:

  • Tank or bottled gas
  • Liquid petroleum gas (LPG)
  • Oil
  • Wood
  • Solid fuel.

How to apply

Most homes that are eligible for the AFP sum should get it automatically as a credit on their electricity bills from February 2023.

If you haven’t had it automatically, but think you’re entitled to it, gov.uk says to contact your electricity supplier.

But you may not get the payment automatically if your home is either:

  • In an area which is mainly connected to the gas grid
  • Not connected to either the gas or the electricity grid.

In this case, you may have to apply for the payment through the AFP Alternative Fund – which can be found on gov.uk here.

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You’ll need to apply by May 31, 2023, in order to get the support, it’s been reported.

It’s also worth nothing that, previously, applicants would have been required to show they’d spent £200 on alternative fuel from September 2022 onwards to qualify for the payment (with proof such as a receipt).

However, it was announced in April 2023 that people who bought their fuel from June 2022 onwards are also now able to apply.

Energy security secretary Grant Shapps said of the decision: ‘We have already stepped in and paid half of a typical household energy bill, but we also always want to make sure support gets to those who need it.

‘That’s why today we’re again stepping in to make sure those households using heating oil, LPG, biomass and more, can submit receipts for fuel purchases as far back as June 2022, because we recognise many households will have bought ahead of winter.’

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