Many constituents have asked Jonathan for information re. energy support for park home residents.
In short, park home residents may currently benefit from discounts on energy prices if the supply contract has a price fixed after 1 December 2021. It is not known if this will continue beyond March 2023. They may also be able to apply for £400 support through EBSS Alternative funding from the end of February 2023. The current and proposed support schemes are set out below.
The House of Commons Library briefing Constituency casework: Government support for energy bills (2 February 2023) provides information on the energy price discount schemes Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS) (see section 4) and Energy Bills Discount Scheme (EBDS) (see section 5), and ‘pass through’ requirements for park home residents (see section 6). Information on Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS) Alternative funding is provided in section 2.2.
The briefing also has a table (Table 2) setting out which support schemes are available to customers depending on their circumstances.
Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS)
In general park home residents who pay a third party intermediary (park site owner) with a non-domestic fixed price electricity supply contract agreed on or after 1 December 2021 can benefit from the Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS) until 31 March 2023.
The EBRS provides a discount on the gas and electricity unit prices paid by customers with a non-domestic energy supply contract in England, Scotland and Wales. It covers variable non-domestic contracts, as well as fixed contracts agreed on or after 1 December 2021. Discounts should be passed through to customers by intermediaries: the pass-through regulations require intermediaries to pass on benefits received under the EBRS to end users such as park home residents.
Energy Bills Discount Scheme (EBDS)
The Energy Bills Discount Scheme (EBDS) will provide a discount on the gas and electricity unit prices paid by customers with a non-domestic energy supply contract across the UK from April 1 2023 to 31 March 2024. The EBDS will be similar to the EBRS, but it will provide a lower level of support - it is not yet clear how heat network and other customers will be affected by the transition to the EBDS. A Government press release on the EBDS (9 January 2023) states:
"There are some domestic customers who receive energy bill support via the EBRS, including those in park homes and heat networks. The government is developing options to ensure domestic consumers on a non-domestic meter continue to benefit from support in line with other domestic users after April."
EBSS Alternative Funding scheme
The Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS) provides a £400 non-repayable discount to households with a domestic electricity connection in England, Scotland and Wales to help with energy bills between October 2022 to March 2023.
The EBSS Alternative Funding scheme will provide £400 support to households across the UK who do not have a domestic electricity supply, either directly or through an intermediary, and who would therefore otherwise miss out on the EBSS. Eligible households in England, Scotland and Wales will be able to apply for support from 27 February via an online form on GOV.UK. There will be a helpline to assist customers who do not have online access. Local authorities will deliver the payment to households.
Eligibility criteria for the EBSS Alternative Funding have not yet been published, but a press release on 19 December 2022 said park home residents (among others) are likely to be eligible.
The date that a household receives the payment will depend on when they apply and when their local authority can process the payment. The press release and a written statement provide more information. Note when these were published applications were expected to open in January; they are now expected to open on 27 February 2023.