Plaid Cymru politicians have urged off-grid households in Carmarthenshire not to miss out on a payment of £200 they could be entitled to.
Earlier this year, following extensive pressure from Plaid Cymru politicians at Westminster and Cardiff Bay, the UK Government announced the launch of the Alternative Fuel Payment scheme, paying £200 to households not connected to the mains gas grid, and reliant on other forms of heating – including heating oil, LPG and wood.
It was expected that most homes that are eligible for the payment would get it automatically as a credit on their electricity bills from February 2023.
Households without a direct relationship with an electricity supplier, or households in an area whereby the majority of premises in the post code are connected to the mains gas grid are expected to apply for the Alternative Fuel Payment via an online portal.
However, it has also come to light since the online portal was launched that some households who do have a direct relationship with an electricity supplier will need to apply for the support, as some postcode details have not been supplied to the energy companies.
Previous UK Government statistics suggest that almost 40% of households in Carmarthenshire are off grid, and reliant on alternative forms of heating – this compares to the Wales national average of 19%.
Urging local residents to check their eligibility, Cefin Campbell MS, Plaid Cymru Senedd Member for Mid & West Wales said:
“The UK Government’s whole approach to supporting off-grid households has been a strenuous, long-drawn out process.
We already know that a disproportionate percentage of households across Carmarthenshire do not have access to the mains gas grid, and I was heartened to learn that many residents have now received their £200 Alternative Fuel Payment via their electricity supplier.
However, I remain aware some households who do have an electricity supplier, that have seemingly fallen between the cracks, and are still awaiting payment. I would urge all households to carefully check their statements, and ensure they receive what they are entitled to.”
Off-grid households who have an electricity supplier and have not received the £200 payment have been urged by the UK Government to contact their electricity supplier.
Ben Lake MP, Plaid Cymru’s Westminster spokesperson for the Treasury added:
“I fear that those who have a direct relationship with an electricity supplier will have taken it for granted that they will receive the payments automatically, as per UK Government advice.
It now appears that some will need to make an application after all, and I would encourage all off-grid households to contact their electricity supplier if they have not yet received their payments to clarify whether they need to apply for the payment through the online portal.
“It is vital that the Government takes urgent steps to make sure that everyone who needs to make an application knows that before the scheme concludes.”
The full criteria and information regarding the Alternative Fuel Payment scheme can be found on the UK Government’s website: