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Off-grid Energy Support.

Constituents continue to contact me about cost of living and energy challenges. This week I tabled a motion in Parliament calling on the UK Government to re-open the energy support scheme for off-grid households after only one in six of the eligible households were able to claim the money.

My motion highlighted that many households will face continued pressure this winter because of high energy bills.

The Energy Bill Support Scheme Alternative Funding was intended to help an estimated 900,000 households which do not pay an energy supplier directly for their electricity. As of the end of May this year, only 16% had claimed, with £300 million being returned to the Treasury. I called on the government to ensure that households who missed out be able to claim support immediately.

My press release comment for information:

The UK government dragged its feet in making this funding available. It took them months and repeated delays to decided how to get money to the people who needed it. Now we know that only a small fraction of those who were eligible actually received support.

“As many households face another difficult winter with energy bills still high, the least the government could do is to re-open this funding so that those who missed out have a chance to benefit.

“Liberal Democrats want to see action to support people through this winter. We would double the Winter Fuel Allowance to offer extra help to pensioners, paid for by a proper windfall tax on the oil and gas giants.”

The text of the motion is as follows:

That this House recognises with great concern the pressure many households are due to face this winter as a result of high energy bills; notes that the Energy Bill Support Scheme Alternative Funding aimed to reached 900,000 households that do not have a direct relationship with their electricity supplier; regrets that only 16% of eligible households successfully applied for the scheme before it closed on 31 May 2023 and that 759,000 households have been left without support from the scheme, returning over £300 million to the Treasury; and urges the Government to follow the recommendations of the Energy Security and Net Zero Committee’s Preparing for the winter Report including that all households that missed out should receive support with immediate effect.


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