Energy bills support schemes

Alternative fuel payment alternative fund (AFP alternative fund)

The alternative fuel payment (AFP) provides a payment of £200 for households that use alternative fuels, such as heating oil, biomass and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), as the main source of heating.

For households in Great Britain, the main part of this scheme is being delivered through domestic electricity suppliers in one instalment in February. The vast majority of eligible households will receive the AFP automatically through their electricity supplier.

However, there will be a small number of households that will be required to apply to the scheme due to the method used to target payments and because some households will not have a direct relationship with an electricity supplier. The alternative fuel payment alternative fund (AFP alternative fund) was set up to provide the payment to these households.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible for AFP alternative fund applicants must meet the following criteria on the date of their application:

  • the dwelling for which support is being claimed is the sole or main residential address of the applicant
  • the applicant or household is responsible for paying for the alternative fuel(s) used in the dwelling as the household’s main source of heating and may, through these charges increasing, have the impact of increased alternative fuel costs passed on to them between 1 September 2022 and 31 May 2023
  • the household has not or will not receive a payment through the main AFP scheme and has not received a payment through the AFP alternative fund, in whole or in part
  • the household dwelling is not a business premises or other form of non-domestic premises, 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 etc). Only households, and not the businesses themselves, may apply for the AFP alternative fund

These criteria apply to the address that is receiving payment. It is possible that an individual may move from an AFP-eligible address to an AFP alternative fund-eligible address. In this case, as long as the applicant meets the other eligibility criteria when applying to the AFP alternative fund, they will be considered to be eligible to receive the payment.

Households eligible for AFP alternative fund

Provided they can provide sufficient proof of address and are not otherwise ineligible, households eligible for AFP alternative fund include:

  • park home residents
  • housing association, social and private tenants, and leaseholders, supplied via a landlord with a commercial meter
  • 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

In some circumstances, households may have been paid in part under the main AFP scheme, but due to a change in circumstances (e.g. they had to move out of their own home and into non-permanent accommodation) are eligible to apply under the AFP alternative fund. Local authorities are not asked to check that change in circumstances, however they must still be otherwise eligible in order to apply.

Where one of these categories does not apply or where it is not materially clear whether a household falls into one of the eligible categories, the decisions on the eligibility of each household will be at the local authority’s discretion, provided the treatment of the application is consistent with the scheme eligibility criteria set out above.

If the premises contains more than one eligible household as defined in this guidance, each of the households will be eligible for the payment. This does not include houses in multiple occupation (HMO) as they would only be eligible for one payment for the whole property in line with main AFP scheme, rather than one payment per resident.

Eligible households on business premises

All businesses and other non-domestic premises are excluded from directly receiving AFP alternative fund, except:

  • residents of businesses providing long term residential accommodation including landlords
  • farmers living in domestic farmhouses on a farm

Where a small part of a domestic premises is used by a home-based business (for example a bedroom used as an office) this will not exclude a household as eligible, provided the other eligibility criteria have been met.

Households in non-permanent accommodation

Households in non-permanent accommodation (e.g. temporary accommodation or holiday parks), where they are responsible for paying for alternative fuels, and have been resident for over one month prior to application, should be eligible subject to fulfilling other criteria. Households are asked to select if they live in temporary accommodation as part of the application process. Local authorities will need to confirm their status, including requesting evidence.

Where a local authority is aware that a household has already received an AFP alternative fund payment at a previous temporary address, the second application must be refused.

How do I apply?

You can apply for the AFP alternative fund on GOV.UK.