Help with your energy bills
You can get help with your energy bills or to top up your prepayment meter. You may also be eligible for benefits, grants and help offered by the government and energy suppliers. For further information see the government's help with your energy bills page.
If you use alternative fuel for heating your property and you have not already received £200 automatically for your household, you may be eligible to apply for the Alternative Fuel Payment.
You can also now apply for financial support if you live in a park, mobile or care home, or off the electricity grid. This is known as the Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding:
Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding
Page last updated: 27 February 2023.
In December 2022, the government announced help for households who do not have a domestic electricity meter or a direct relationship with a domestic energy supplier and, therefore, are not receiving the automatic £66 per month help with rising energy costs. This support is not available to businesses.
Eligible households will receive a payment of £400 funded by the government towards their fuel bills. You can only apply via the GOV.UK website and not directly to us. There will only be one payment per household.
Applications are open from 27 February to 11.59pm on 31 May 2023.
We will make the payments direct to eligible household's bank accounts once the appropriate checks have been made.
The Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding (known as EBSS Alternative Funding) is aimed at providing support to households not eligible for the automatic Energy Bills Support Scheme (known as EBSS) which is £400 payment paid by energy suppliers.
The EBSS provides a discount on energy bills of £400 for most households in Great Britain. This scheme is being delivered through domestic electricity suppliers in six instalments of £66 per month from October 2022 to March 2023. However, there are a number of households who pay for their electricity in a different way, such as through a commercial intermediary, and so will not receive support through EBSS. The EBSS Alternative Funding has been set up to provide the payment to these households.
The EBSS Alternative Funding is a one-off £400 non-repayable discount to eligible households who have not received the main EBSS payment automatically to help with their energy bills but are still facing increased energy costs.
The Department for Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) expects eligible households to include those with a commercial landlord or intermediary, such as park home residents and some housing association tenants. The EBSS Alternative Funding is expected to reach a significant number of vulnerable people, including self-funding residents in care homes. BEIS is expecting approximately 900,000 households in Great Britain (around 3 per cent) to be eligible for EBSS Alternative Funding. No household will be eligible for both the EBSS payment and an EBSS Alternative Funding payment.
Am I eligible?
In order to qualify for this funding you will need to meet all of the following criteria:
- The property in which you are applying for must be your sole and main residence. You will need to provide sufficient proof of this in your application and if your address cannot be verified, you will not receive the payment
- You must be resident at the eligible premises on the date you apply
- You are responsible for paying for energy used in the property as part of a service charge, rent or other arrangement
- You are not eligible for or have already received the EBSS payments
- The household is not a business premises or other form of non-domestic premises and is used wholly or mainly for domestic purposes, with the exception of businesses whose main business activity is to provide long term residential accommodation (landlords, care homes). Only households and not the businesses themselves may apply for this funding
As long as you can provide sufficient proof of address and are not otherwise ineligible, households eligible for EBSS Alternative Funding include:
- Park home residents
- Housing association, social and private tenants, and leaseholders, supplied via a landlord with a commercial meter
- Partly and wholly self-funded care home residents (where they make any contribution to their costs, as opposed to NHS funded residents)
- Households in house boats on residential moorings
- Households on a private electricity network, for example those supplied by a heat network
- Off-grid households
- Traveller households on authorised sites
- Households in non-permanent/supported accommodation
Who is not eligible?
Premises that have a primary domestic supply contract (or deemed) are eligible for funding through the main EBSS scheme and are, therefore, excluded from receiving EBSS Alternative Funding. This includes:
- Where a landlord rather than a tenant holds the domestic electricity supply contract and therefore the landlord is eligible for the EBSS payment (and should have passed the benefit through to their tenants)
- Second or holiday homes as these are not main or sole residences
- Households without a fixed address, for example house boats without a permanent mooring
- Students living in purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA)
- Seasonal workers living in associated accommodation
- Service occupiers such as security, building caretakers, property guardians
- Fully publicly-funded care home residents who do not contribute to their costs as these are covered by the NHS
How to apply
Apply for energy bill support if you do not get it automatically
If you are not able to apply online
If you are not able to make an online application, assisted telephone support is available and the Freephone number for this is 0808 175 3287. The lines are open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm.
We cannot assist with enquiries regarding the application process and, therefore, you should contact the Freephone number for any support or questions.
Please note: Applications received outside of the application window of 27 February to 31 May 2023 will not be eligible for payment.
Be alert - scam awareness
The government or Herefordshire Council will never provide a link to the online application via email or text and if you receive a scam message in relation to this funding, please report it immediately. Please send a screenshot of the message to firstname.lastname@example.org or forward text messages to 7726 so that action can be taken.
How will I receive payment?
All payments will be made direct into a bank account, there is no other option for payment so if you do not have a valid bank account, you will need to open one to receive the payment.
When your application has been processed, you will receive notification that a payment has been generated or if your application has been rejected via gov.notify.
You should wait for six weeks from your date of application and all payments will be sent to those who are eligible by 7 July 2023.
Please do not chase us for payments as we can only make payment once your application has been fully verified and, therefore, we will not respond to these types of enquiries.
Fraud and error
The government and Herefordshire Council will not accept deliberate manipulation and fraud. Applicants found to be providing false information to gain support payments will face prosecution and any funding issued will be recovered.
How your data will be used
The government and Herefordshire Council will need to share data about your application. This is to ensure accurate payments are made and to allow the government to monitor the EBSS Alternative Funding. Find out how your data will be shared and used as part of your application in the EBSS Alternative Funding privacy notice.