If you’re reading this, there’s a chance you’re a customer of Octopus, EDF, British Gas, Scottish Power or OVO who uses oil for heating your home as an alternative fuel source to your electricity. If so, here at Savvy Dad, we’re here to fill in some of the sketchy details surrounding whether you may be eligible for the Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP) of £200 from the government via your energy supplier to help with your energy bills.
The high cost of oil in the autumn might make this payment long overdue for customers like yourself who have had to bear the extra burden of not having the support when you needed to buy oil or bottled gas at a decent price. But, what exactly is the AFP, and how can you receive or claim it via OVO, Scottish Power, Octopus Energy, British Gas or EDF?
Let us try and answer some of the common questions you may have about the Alternative Fuels Payment, specifically for customers who use domestic oil for heating in the UK.
As an aside, before continuing, Savvy Dad HQ has just moved over to Octopus Energy as they took over Bulb customers. The great thing about Octopus is the energy supplier with the best green credentials, great customer service, a variety of tariffs that stack with Power Rewards and Equiwatt to give money back, AND £50 for switching to them via our switching link. Note that if you choose to switch via this link we will also get a referral bonus.
What is the Alternative Fuels Payment?
The Alternative Fuel Payment, or AFP, is a one-off payment of £200 to help households not connected to the main gas grid use alternative fuels as their main form of heating. This is common in the UK’s more rural areas where the infrastructure and cost of installing new utilities to provide up-to-date supplies are problematic. This government-backed payment is in addition to the £400 winter fuel payment you may have already received from your electricity supplier – or rather, had discounted from your bill payments when added to your energy account.
What are the alternative fuels eligible for the payment?
Within the UK, customers may be eligible for the Alternative Fuels Payment if their main form of heating uses one of the following options:
- Non-grid Bottled Gas – If you’re living the off-the-grid lifestyle via bottled gas, you’ll have to jump through a few extra hoops to claim your Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP). This might apply to you if you’re living in holiday parks, boats, temporary sites etc. But don’t worry, the government is supposedly opening up a special claims portal that’ll be up and running on February 27th 2023. Just be warned, the payout may not come until the end of March, so hold tight and plan accordingly
- Liquid petroleum gas (LPG) – If you’re seeking support for liquid petroleum gas as your main source of heat, you may be eligible for the £200 Alternative Fuel Payment too, all you need to do is prove that you’re not connected to the mains gas grid. We expect the portal service to cross-check postcodes with energy grid maps which hopefully show whether you’re entitled.
- Wood – If you warm your home with good old-fashioned logs, the £200 AFP should apply to you too. As a side note, it’s worth keeping up with the government’s recent interest in emissions surrounding wood burning and wood sales/taxes. Now, we know what you’re thinking: “Wood-burning stoves are all the rage, why should I have to pay for heating my home if I use a sustainable method?” Well, the government is taking a closer look at wood burners, and for good reason – they want to ensure they’re being used responsibly and in compliance with the new 25-year environment plan. Misusing wood burners could result in fines, so make sure you’re using them correctly and safely and consider other additional ways to reduce your energy use.
How do I know if I’m eligible for the payment?
If you heat your home using alternative fuels like wood, solid fuel, oil, liquid petroleum gas (LPG), or tank or bottled gas, you may be eligible for an Alternative Fuels Payment (AFP) of £200 from the UK government. Keep in mind, however, that the data matching system used to identify eligible customers may rely on outdated energy grid databases. As a result, there’s a possibility that some properties may be incorrectly missed off or added wrongly and some customers may miss out on the payment.
If you think this might be the case for you, don’t worry! You can reach out to your energy supplier and see if you can apply for the payment through their website. Alternatively, if OVO, Octopus, EDF, or British Gas are slow to update customers, we hope the government portal will have the option to submit a missing claim.
Will I receive the payment automatically? What if I don’t receive the payment and think I should?
Most homes that are eligible for the Alternative Fuels Payment will receive it automatically as a credit on their electricity bills from February 2023. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has data-matched eligible customers, so if you think you’re eligible and haven’t received the payment yet, there will be a way for you to apply via your provider or the government AFP portal.
So, hopefully, that gives you a little info on who’s eligible and when and how to expect payments. If you are a customer of a UK energy supplier who uses oil for heating and you are not connected to the main gas grid, you may be eligible for the Alternative Fuels Payment of £200 and should keep your eyes peeled for details of the portal if payments are missing. Readers can visit the government’s website for more information on the AFPs.
How much is the Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP)?
The Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP) is worth £200 and is in addition to the £400 offered by electricity suppliers.
Is the Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP) a one-time payment?
Yes, the Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP) is a one-time payment of £200.
When will I receive the Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP)?
Most eligible households will receive the Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP) automatically as a credit on their electricity bills from February 2023.
How does the Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP) compare to winter fuel payments?
The Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP) is a separate initiative from winter fuel payments, which are available to all UK households that are over a certain age, regardless of their source of heating. The Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP) is specifically targeted at households that use alternative fuels as their primary source of heating and is in addition to the £400 offered by electricity suppliers.
What should I do if I have further questions about the Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP)?
If you’re all about saving those pennies and keeping your energy bills as low as possible, you’re in luck! The Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP) is a fantastic opportunity for UK residents who use alternative fuels as their main form of heating. By visiting the government’s website at https://www.gov.uk/get-help-energy-bills/alternative-fuels, you can access all the information you need to know about the initiative, including how much you could be eligible to receive, and the steps to claim your payment.
Like any government initiative over the last few years, the portal (and available info) might not run smoothly or be up to scratch. But, in theory, it’s a smart way to ensure your energy costs stay in check via the £200 payment which will boost funds as the other winter payments dry up – especially in today’s financially challenging climate.
So, if you’re expecting a payment, keep an eye on your energy supplier account to make sure the payments arrive for a little extra financial boost.