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£200 Alternative Fuel Payment - Confirmation & Expected Payment Date

  • 14 February 2023
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Putting aside that it’s now 14th Feb - that this payment was promised by the Government in October and that we’ve had to pay for 2 oil deliveries since then - I’ve seen all the posts, links and replies about HOW the Alternative Fuel Payment will be paid (via OVO) and when the payments will start (6th Feb) … I know that I SHOULD qualify as we have no mains gas to the village - but I don’t know for sure that OVO know that. ( …surely this is something that could have been confirmed sooner ? - but, putting that aside too - we are where we are ...)
The most recent update suggests that OVO now has a list of supply numbers (MPAN) for applicable households - so, how, and more particularly WHEN, will it be possible to confirm that our address is included on the list ?  - and - assuming that we are on the list (we certainly should be) how much longer will we need to wait to actually receive the payment ? 

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Best answer by Jeffus 14 February 2023, 11:32

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As far as I’m aware, you’ll get a £200 electric credit by the end of the month which - if you pay by DD - will then be refunded to your bank account.

There’s no need for you to do anything unless you don’t get the payment by the end of February, in which case the government will have a website up to manually request AFP.

Could a member of the OVO customer team please provide an update of how and when payments will be made and who does or does not qualify automatically. Seems a simple request.

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Updated on 21/06/23 by Abby_OVO

The scheme is closed at the moment. We’ll update this topic when we have information on the scheme for the upcoming year

Think you are eligible for the AFP but didn’t receive it? 

 

You can apply on the GOV website here. If you cannot apply online, call the helpline:

 

Government Payment for Alternative Fuels (like heating oil)

 

 

The Government has now confirmed details about how the ‘Alternative Fuel’ payments (AFP) will be made. This includes households without a direct relationship to an energy supplier. 

 

Information taken from the GOV website where you can find the latest updates on this topic

 

We have now received the supply numbers (MPANs) of eligible customers from The Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and will be issuing a communication to these customers as soon as possible to inform them that they will receive the Alternative Fuel Payments (AFP) support.

 

AFP support will be issued as per the Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS) payments, so by either a payment to the customer's bank account, if paid by direct debit or as credit added to their energy account if they pay on demand.

 

For PAYG customers credit will be added directly to the customer's smart prepayment meter; or a cash voucher issued if it’s a traditional meter. We intend on adding a note to OVO customer accounts to make it clear that they have been deemed as eligible by BEIS. So if you don’t receive a communication from us, Support should be able to advise if you have been deemed eligible or not. 

 

We’re planning to start making these payments from 13 February, if you’re looking for more information on the AFP or on wider ‘Help For Households’ support schemes, can find this here

 

Think you are eligible for the AFP but didn’t receive it? 

 

You can apply on the GOV website here

 

If you cannot apply online, call the helpline:

 

Telephone: 0808 175 3287
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Find out about call charges

 

Energy bills support in England, Scotland and Wales will be via ‘EBSS Alternative Funding’ and ‘Alternative Fuel Payments’

 

  • People in England, Scotland and Wales without a direct relationship to a domestic energy supplier, will receive a £400 discount on their fuel bills through the Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding (EBSS Alternative Funding).
  • The government is also providing a further £200 Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP) to help those households in England, Scotland and Wales who use alternative fuels such as biomass or heating oil to heat their homes this winter. Most households eligible for the AFP support in UK, will receive the payment automatically via their electricity supplier in February, with no need to take any action.
  • However, 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 in February, through the same GOV.UK portal as the one that will be used to apply for support under the EBSS Alternative Funding scheme.

 

Online applications will open in January for households in England, Scotland and Wales who are eligible for the £400 EBSS Alternative Funding to submit their details, alongside a helpline for those without online access. Payments to households that meet the eligibility criteria – including people who get their energy through a commercial contract or who are off-grid – will be made by local authorities in Great Britain. This is likely to include:

 

  • care home residents
  • residents of park homes
  • tenants in certain private and social rented homes
  • homes supplied via private wires
  • residents of caravans and houseboats on registered sites
  • farmers living in domestic farmhouses
  • off-grid households”

Telephone: 0808 175 3287
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Find out about call charges

 

Could a member of the OVO customer team please provide an update of how and when payments will be made and who does or does not qualify automatically. Seems a simple request.

Hi @DMGM  @menniej2

OVO have provided the answers to most of these on a simple web page. The other answers from an OVO staff member are in posts i have linked to (#4, #5) 

1. How it will be paid:

https://www.ovoenergy.com/alternative-fuel-payment

2. Who qualifies

https://www.ovoenergy.com/alternative-fuel-payment

This above link is a summary and consistent with the government public announcement to consumers

https://www.gov.uk/get-help-energy-bills/alternative-fuels

If you want to see the full details  of who is eligible and how the government selected customers you can look at this document given to suppliers. It has much more detail but wasn't written for consumers. 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/domestic-alternative-fuel-payment-afp-scheme-in-great-britain-guidance-for-electricity-suppliers

3. What happens if you don't get it automatically (there will be a page on gov.uk, it isn't there yet, if you don't get the payment and you think you should. The government has not said when the form will be available) 

https://www.ovoenergy.com/alternative-fuel-payment

4. When will the payments be made. An OVO staff member has provided this information

5. Can i check if i am on the list of eligible households the government has given to OVO if I haven't received an email? This was provided by an OVO staff member on this forum , so try calling the Support Team. 

"We intend on adding a memo to customer accounts to make it clear that they have been deemed as eligible by BEIS, so this will become clear to customer service agents" 

 

Does that answer your questions?

Is there anything else you would like to ask? 

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OVO have been helpful in providing links when information has become available - and I understand what SHOULD happen - what I’ve asked for is how to obtain confirmation that in respect of my individual account - it WILL happen, and WHEN it will happen … in short - how can I confirm that our MPAN number is among those that automatically qualify ?
Perhaps another couple of weeks patience will provide the answers - but that doesn’t really help with budgeting and forward planning given that we were originally promised this by the Government last October. I appreciate that this hasn’t been a simple process - but once it was decided that non-mains gas account holders would qualify I would have thought it could have been simple enough to confirm that with those households. 
I guess what we’re being told in reality is that if the payment hasn’t arrived by March there will be a way of chasing it up … which somehow misses the point of providing help over winter - hey ho - gift horses and all that … 

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Hey @DMGM,

 

Welcome to the OVO Online Community,

 

If you haven’t yet been contacted advising you’re eligible, I’d recommend contacting Support as there should be a note on the accounts of customers deemed eligible, most customers on the Forum it appears have already received a communication from us.

 

If you haven’t been flagged by Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) as being eligible, they’re going to add a form to their website where you can challenge this decision. This hasn’t gone live yet but we’ll update our Forum topics about Alternative Fuel Payment when it does. 

 

Hope this helps. 

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OVO have been helpful in providing links when information has become available - and I understand what SHOULD happen - what I’ve asked for is how to obtain confirmation that in respect of my individual account - it WILL happen, and WHEN it will happen … in short - how can I confirm that our MPAN number is among those that automatically qualify ?
Perhaps another couple of weeks patience will provide the answers - but that doesn’t really help with budgeting and forward planning given that we were originally promised this by the Government last October. I appreciate that this hasn’t been a simple process - but once it was decided that non-mains gas account holders would qualify I would have thought it could have been simple enough to confirm that with those households. 
I guess what we’re being told in reality is that if the payment hasn’t arrived by March there will be a way of chasing it up … which somehow misses the point of providing help over winter - hey ho - gift horses and all that … 

@DMGM let us know what the Support Team say as per @Emmanuelle_OVO suggestion. 

 

"If you haven’t yet been contacted advising you’re eligible, I’d recommend contacting Support as there should be a note on the accounts of customers deemed eligible" 

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That page sadly doesn’t give the full picture. BEIS use existing databases of MPANs and postcodes not served with gas to find households which may use alternative fuels. They then match the results with 2021 census data to see how those households said they were heated¹. This last exercise may well rule out many who felt compelled to change their energy consumption profile in the past two years (heat pumps? solar power? solid fuel? keeping livestock indoors?). It’s also not really fair on those who have to pay more than twice the price per kWh to use electric rather than gas heating, even allowing for the Energy Price Guarantee.

I think it’s clear that this scheme was only invented to redress the balance between those who benefit from this winter’s substantial government subsidy on gas prices and those who can’t. It may be fair enough to exclude the HP and solar power users, who probably enjoyed even larger subsidies, but there will be many who feel badly done by unless the appeal process is conducted charitably. We’ll have to wait until next month at the earliest to find out how it goes.

 

 


  1. See para 3.5 here: Domestic Alternative Fuel Payment Scheme: guidance for electricity suppliers in Great Britain

 

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That page sadly doesn’t give the full picture. BEIS use existing databases of MPANs and postcodes not served with gas to find households which may use alternative fuels. They then match the results with 2021 census data to see how those households said they were heated¹. This last exercise may well rule out many who felt compelled to change their energy consumption profile in the past two years (heat pumps? solar power? solid fuel? keeping livestock indoors?). It’s also not really fair on those who have to pay more than twice the price per kWh to use electric rather than gas heating, even allowing for the Energy Price Guarantee.

I think it’s clear that this scheme was only invented to redress the balance between those who benefit from this winter’s substantial government subsidy on gas prices and those who can’t. It may be fair enough to exclude the HP and solar power users, who probably enjoyed even larger subsidies, but there will be many who feel badly done by unless the appeal process is conducted charitably. We’ll have to wait until next month at the earliest to find out how it goes.

 

 

  1. See para 3.5 here: Domestic Alternative Fuel Payment Scheme: guidance for electricity suppliers in Great Britain

 

@Firedog 

I have updated the answer with two links.

Let me know if there are any other changes needed. 

OK? 

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Thanks everyone who has contributed - through a selection of links I came to this list which at least confirms that our postcode is one of those that SHOULD automatically qualify … so now I’m just waiting for notification (or more ideally payment) from OVO

Xoserve Off gas live postcodes - (download)

https://www.xoserve.com/media/fadn4tnc/off-gas-live-postcodes- 2022.xlsx?term=Off-gas

The Xoserve link above was found in the footer of this document:
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1130933/domestic-alternative-fuel-payment-scheme-suppliers-guidance.pdf

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They then match the results with 2021 census data to see how those households said they were heated.

I’ve now checked what these data might say. This was the pertinent question:
  

 

The answers to this question will be open to various interpretations, but it looks as if those using renewable energy (e.g. solar PV) might be ineligible for the AFP. I wish I could remember which answer I gave …

 

We are off grid for heating and only use oil. I understood that somehow (goodness knows how they have the knowledge to do this) they will notify my supplier (namely OVO) that we are entitled to the AF payment of £200. I have been anticipating an e-mail from OVO to notify me that all is in place but have heard nothing. There is no new info on the government website other than a vague reference about things happening late February. Please advise as to current status of this scheme.

Thanks

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https://www.ovoenergy.com/alternative-fuel-payment

Has anyone received the £200 energy support payment from OVO, due to the users of domestic heating oil?

No!! Perhaps in March (if ever)

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Looks like the option to apply has appeared

https://www.gov.uk/apply-energy-bill-support-if-not-automatic?

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Looks like the option to apply has appeared

https://www.gov.uk/apply-energy-bill-support-if-not-automatic?

This is for those who did not automatically received the £400 payment (£67 per month) through an electricity supplier - it is not the additional £200 alternative fuel payment (for those with oil or LPG boilers etc) that should also have been paid automatically to those without access mains gas - hopefully the manual application for that funding will be available by the end of the month

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My mistake

I managed to get through to an OVO online advisor who told me that they do not have me listed as being due a heating oil payment, but that the company does not select the recipient households. Their advice was to contact the Warm Homes Discount helpline on 0800 107 8002 - 8am - 6pm BEFORE 28th FEBRUARY. I hope this helps.

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Looks like the option to apply has appeared

https://www.gov.uk/apply-energy-bill-support-if-not-automatic?

This is for those who did not automatically received the £400 payment (£67 per month) through an electricity supplier - it is not the additional £200 alternative fuel payment (for those with oil or LPG boilers etc) that should also have been paid automatically to those without access mains gas - hopefully the manual application for that funding will be available by the end of the month

@BPLightlog @DMGM 

Yep. Fingers crossed it will be available. 

MPs have been given a briefing to answer any questions from their constituents. 

"These customers will be able to apply for the support via an online form on 
GOV.UK, using the same portal as for the EBSS Alternative Funding. Applications for the AFP through the portal are expected to open “very shortly” after the portal opens for EBSS Alternative Funding applications on 27 February 2023"

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Updated on 07/03/23 by Emmanuelle_OVO

Think you are eligible for the Alternative Fuel Payment but didn’t receive it? 

 

You can apply on the GOV website here. If you cannot apply online, call the helpline:

 

Telephone: 0808 175 3287
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Find out about call charges

@Norfolk Bloke @Andrew Porteous

Fingers crossed the form for applying if you were not automatically on the government list will be available soon on the government website. 

MPs have been given a briefing to answer any questions from their constituents. 

"These customers will be able to apply for the support via an online form on 
GOV.UK, using the same portal as for the EBSS Alternative Funding. Applications for the AFP through the portal are expected to open “very shortly” after the portal opens for EBSS Alternative Funding applications on 27 February 2023"

Nothing on the page yet, hopefully it will appear in the next few weeks either a reference on this page

https://www.gov.uk/get-help-energy-bills/alternative-fuels

And, or this form updated to cover the Alternative Fuel Payment as MPs have been told

https://www.gov.uk/apply-energy-bill-support-if-not-automatic

Many thanks for your prompt and informative reply. 

Thanks for that update.

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@Norfolk Bloke @Andrew Porteous

Applications for the AFP through the portal are expected to open “very shortly” after the portal opens for EBSS Alternative Funding applications on 27 February 2023"

 @Jeffus It might be worth bookmarking this page: Help with your energy bills: If you use alternative fuels for heating - GOV.UK 

That’s where I’d expect to find a link to the application form.

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@Norfolk Bloke @Andrew Porteous

Applications for the AFP through the portal are expected to open “very shortly” after the portal opens for EBSS Alternative Funding applications on 27 February 2023"

 @Jeffus It might be worth bookmarking this page: Help with your energy bills: If you use alternative fuels for heating - GOV.UK 

That’s where I’d expect to find a link to the application form.

Good idea @BPLightlog , i have updated my reply. 

Can anyone tell me when non electric heating users will get their £200 energy payment from OVO

 

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