The Energy Bill Support Scheme – Alternative Funding (EBSS-AF) grant and Alternative Fuels Payment (AFP) were released in response to Gypsy and Traveller communities (alongside other groups) being excluded from mainstream Government support with energy costs.
Under the EBSS-AF scheme, people living on sites without a direct relationship with an electricity supplier and on a commercial contract, were able to receive a £400 payment to help with rising energy costs. The AFP grant entitled people using alternative fuels to heat their home to a £200 discount.
- 8,170 Gypsy and Traveller households received the EBSS-AF scheme;
- 2,600 Gypsy and Traveller households received the AFP payment.
This represents a huge win for Gypsy and Traveller communities. FFT’s Policy and Campaigns teams and our supporters fought hard to widen access to the same help that most households across the UK were eligible for from October 2022.
With Gypsy and Traveller families living in caravans and mobile homes at greater risk of fuel poverty, we are pleased to see the discount schemes were used by so many families, with the numbers emphasising the importance of government support.
Initially, itinerant Boaters and Gypsies and Travellers living on roadside camps were also excluded from the two new energy grants. However, thanks to the support of our campaigners, itinerant Boaters will now also receive a back payment.
Commenting on the positive news, Abbie Kirkby, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Friends, Families and Travellers, said:
“We’re pleased to see thousands of Gypsy and Traveller people have been able to access much-needed support to help with rising energy costs.
Whilst we strongly believe it’s a grave injustice that families living on roadside camps were excluded, we are heartened to see financial support reach so many.
The systemic issues around poor site design and energy access arrangements and prices on local authority Traveller sites need to be addressed, so that the experiences of fuel poverty do not continue to have devastating impacts on families living on sites.”
About Friends, Families and Travellers (FFT)
Friends, Families and Travellers is a leading national charity that works to end racism and discrimination against Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people and to protect the right to pursue a nomadic way of life.
New Energy Grants to help Gypsies and Travellers with costs. Friends, Families and Travellers. February 2023. Read.
Make energy support available to everyone. Friends, Families and Travellers. March 2023. Here.