One day left for households to claim the £200 Alternative Fuels Payment to help with heating bills

Households could be due a £200 payment if they heat their homes using alternative fuel sources and aren’t connected to the mains gas grid - but time is running out to claim the money. We explain what you need to know.

wood burning fire place
(Image credit: © Getty Images)

The deadline for eligible households to claim the £200 Alternative Fuels Payment (AFP) is fast approaching.

Many households who are due a payment should have received this automatically, but if you haven’t, you must apply by Wednesday 31 May or risk missing out.

The payment is designed to help cover the cost of energy bills.

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What is the alternative fuels payment?

The Alternative Fuels Payment is a one-off £200 payment to help with heating costs for households across England, Wales and Scotland, which are not connected to the mains gas grid and use alternative fuel sources to heat their homes.

Alternative fuels include tank or bottled gas, liquid petroleum gas (LPG), oil, wood and solid fuel.

According to the government website, your main home must also be either:

  • in a residential park home
  • on a boat on a permanent residential mooring
  • on a permanent Gypsy and Traveller site
  • in social or private rented accommodation that has a business energy connection or a communal electricity supply
  • off the mains electricity or gas grid
  • part of a business property (such as a farm or a flat above a shop)

Who should automatically get the £200 alternative fuels payment?

Households who should get this £200 payment include:

  • Households in England, Scotland or Wales. There is a different scheme in Northern Ireland.
  • Homes using alternative fuel sources for heating like liquid petroleum gas (LPG), oil or solid fuel
  • Households that are connected to the electricity grid

Eligible households who pay their electricity bills directly to their energy supplier should have received payments automatically.

These should have been made from February 2023 with payment going directly to your electricity supplier, before appearing as a £200 credit on your electricity account.

In the event you have not had your payment, and think you are eligible, you may need to apply yourself.

How can I apply?

If you haven’t had a £200 payment, and think you are eligible, the usual advice is to contact your electricity supplier. However, with time running out and the deadline of 31 May fast approaching – it’s worth applying via the government website.

If you cannot apply online, you can call the government helpline on 0808 175 3943 (lines are open weekdays from 8am – 6pm).

You can only claim for your main or permanent home, provided you pay for the energy used by your household.

As part of the application process, you will need to provide proof that you have spent £200 on alternative fuels since June 2022. This could for example be in the form of a receipt or delivery note.

Once you’ve applied, your local council will carry out checks to ensure you do live at the address given on your application and that you do use alternative fuels to heat your home.

You should get confirmation of whether you’re due a payment within six weeks. This should be either in the form of a letter or email.

How will I get the money?

If your application for the Alternative Fuels Payment is successful, the £200 will be made to you as a one-off payment by your local council.

Sue Hayward

Sue Hayward is a consumer and personal finance journalist, broadcaster and author whose work has appeared everywhere from the Guardian and Good Housekeeping to My Weekly and Lovemoney.  Sue is a regular money guest on TV and Radio with recent appearances on Steph’s Packed Lunch, Jeremy Vine on 5 and 5 News.