On 19 December the government announced further schemes to increase the cost-of-living package of assistance the government has in place to help reduce energy bills for households across the United Kingdom.
Two of these schemes are Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding (EBSS AF) and Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Fuel Payment (EBSS AFP).
- Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding – EBSS (AF) is a one-off non-repayable payment of £400 for households that did not qualify for the £400 Energy Bills Discount Scheme, which was administered by energy suppliers. This is due to those households not having a direct contractual relationship with their electricity supplier.
- The Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Fuel Payment – EBSS (AFP) is a one-off non-repayable payment of £200 directed to those households that heat their homes using alternative energy sources, such as oil, coal, liquified petroleum gas (LPG) or biomass rather than gas or electricity. The vast majority of households eligible for the Alternative Fuel Payment scheme in Great Britain will receive payment automatically via their electricity supplier with no need to take any action.
For the small number of customers who are unable to receive the funding automatically, for instance households in Great Britain without a direct relationship with an electricity supplier, they will need to apply for it.
Applications must be made via the government’s GOV.UK page Apply for energy bill support if you do not get it automatically – GOV.UK
The government has also set up a dedicated customer helpline to assist customers who do not have online access. The telephone number is 0808 175 3287. Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.
Once customers have applied to receive support, and their applications have passed initial eligibility checks, details will be shared with the applicant’s local authority for final processing. Payment will be made to eligible households by the local authority using funding that has been provided to it by the government.
Local authorities will aim to pay eligible claims within 30 working days from the date of application (subject to all necessary information being provided). Please can we ask households not to contact us to chase payment as this will not speed up the process and will deflect us from processing applications as quickly as possible.
Any questions about the schemes should be directed to the government department which is responsible for these schemes. The contact details are:
Phone: 0808 175 3287 Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
If you have not received a decision about your application within 30 working days of you making an application, you can contact the council by email using the appropriate email address below.
- For households in the former Mendip council area
- For households in the former Sedgemoor council area EBSS.firstname.lastname@example.org
- For households in the former South Somerset council area EBSS.email@example.com
- For households in the former Somerset West and Taunton council area EBSS.SWT@somerset.gov.uk
Please can we ask that you do not contact the council within 30 working days of making your application.
Processing and Data Sharing
The Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding data privacy notice is published online: Privacy notice (apply-for-energy-bill-alternative-funds.service.gov.uk). It sets out how the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) will use the personal data collected from local authorities, consumers, contracted organisations and the rights of consumers. It is made under Articles 13 and 14 of the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR).
The council will share necessary personal information with BEIS for the purposes of administering this scheme such as information from its records verifying the applicant’s name, address or Council Tax status. This data sharing is governed by a Data Sharing Agreement between BEIS and the Council.