On 19 December the Government announced the Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding (EBSS AF), the scheme will be targeted at households that missed out on the £400 Energy bills support scheme due to not having a direct contractual relationship with their electricity supplier.
The criteria for the funding is:
- The household that support is being claimed for is the main or only home address of the person to receive the support
- The resident or applicant is responsible for paying the household energy bill. This means either directly or as part of a service charge, rent, or other arrangement and may have the impact of increased energy bills costs passed on to them between 1 October 2022 - 31 March 2023
- The household is not already receiving Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS) payments in whole or in part
- The household is not a business premises or other form of non-domestic premises. It must be used solely or mainly for domestic purposes. This is except for businesses whose main business activity is to provide long term residential accommodation i.e. landlords.
How to apply
The EBSS AF scheme is now open, all applications will need to be made directly to central government via the GOV.UK portal(external link) and not Wigan Council. If you are eligible for the payment and successfully submit an application, your payment details will be shared with Wigan Council to verify your home address and make payment.
An assisted digital call centre has been put in place by the government to deal with any enquiries. The freephone telephone number for the centre is 0808 175 3287. The Contact Centre is open Monday to Friday, 08:00 to 18:00. For further information regarding the EBSS AF scheme visit GOV.UK (external link).
If you have received a scam message in relation to the EBSS Alternative Funding please report it. It is very important that this is reported promptly. Please send a screenshot of the message to email@example.com so that action can be taken. Forward text messages to 7726, and report websites via the National Cyber Security Centre (external link).
Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP)
The Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP) scheme is now live, providing an additional £200 support payment for households that use fuels other than gas to heat their homes. The Government have confirmed that most households eligible for AFP support will receive payment automatically via their electricity supplier in February, with no further action needed. Those households who will need to apply for the AFP, for example because they do not have a relationship with an electricity supplier, will be able to do so through the GOV.UK - AFP AF application portal (external link).
What to do if you don't agree with the decision
Eligibility criteria is set by the government and If you’ve been refused an award under this scheme as you are not eligible, you will need to contact the government call centre on 0808 175 3287.
If you have successfully submitted an application via the government portal but disagree with a decision the council has made following receipt of your application, you can ask the Council to review the decision.
The review will be conducted by an officer who was not involved in the original decision and is of an appropriate grade.
Complaints regarding the administration of the scheme should be made using the Council complaints procedure.
Other support that is available
There are lots of other ways that Wigan Council can support you, find out more about the support that is available through our Here for you campaign.
If you find yourself in financial crisis our Welfare team can help, there is support available through our local welfare offer.