GOVERNMENT CONSULTATIONS

GOVERNMENT CONSULTATIONS OF RELEVANCE TO PARK HOMES

DEAR FELLOW MEMBERS,

This week, the Department for Energy and Net Zero (DESNZ), published a call for evidence from domestic consumers with non-domestic energy supply contracts.

The call for evidence aims to increase their understanding of domestic consumers who receive their energy via a non-domestic contract (usually the park owner), the reasons for those arrangements, and what prices they face.

Please see the following links:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/domestic-consumers-with-non-domestic-energy-supply-contracts-call-for-evidence

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1173132/domestic-consumers-on-non-domestic-energy-contracts-call-for-evidence.pdf

Members will be aware that IPHAS raised this subject with the then Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and the non-ministerial Government energy regulator Ofgem during a virtual meeting arranged for the purpose on 8TH November 2023.

This call for evidence is your opportunity to submit a written summary of your personal experience or concerns arising from purchasing your energy from your park owner.

Whilst the purpose of this call for evidence is NOT A REVIEW about the delivery of the Governments energy support grants.

However if your application for either or both the EBSS – AF and AFP – AF payments was rejected, as a domestic consumer with a non-domestic energy supplier, that may well have been of significance in that rejection.

IPHAS consider this to be highly relevant to the DESNZ evidence gathering as currently, you are disadvantaged as an energy consumer.

Kind regards and best wishes,

IAN R PYE CHAIR

The Independent Park Home Advisory Service (2021) Ltd.

26th July 2023.

EBSS Announcement

EBSS Announcement


As per our previous communication on 30 May, the Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding (EBSS AF) had a limited extension for corporate appointees with business bank accounts applying on behalf of eligible applicants, until 16 June.

Eligible corporate appointees have been able to make an application calling our contact centre helpline on 0808 175 3287. The contact centre helpline will not accept any new applications from corporate appointees using business bank accounts after 6pm on 16 June.

The contact centre helplines for the EBSS AF will remain open to assist applicants who still have applications being processed or who need assistance with a cancelled or rejected application.

Local authorities will continue to process applications after the scheme has closed to new applications and we expect final payments to all eligible applicants to be completed in the summer.

Any review cases that have been raised by an applicant will also continue to be processed after the schemes closes to new applications. Any application that has been incorrectly rejected will be reconsidered by local authorities who will process the claim and, if the application is deemed eligible, will deliver the support into their bank account.

If you have any queries regarding the closure of the EBSS AF, please contact energy.bills.rebate@beis.gov.uk.

Thank you for your continued support throughout the duration of the EBSS AF and the AFP AF.

Kind Regards

The EBSS AF

17th June 2023

EBSS-AF and AFP-AF Schemes

THE EBSS-AF AND AFP-AF ENERGY RELIEF SCHEMES CLOSED ON THE 31st MAY 2023. FROM THAT DATE THE CONTACT CENTRE HELPLINES WILL NOT ACCEPT ANY NEW APPLICATIONS FOR EITHER SCHEME.


However, applications from corporate appointees using business bank accounts can still apply for the EBSS AF until 16 June, by calling the EBSS AF contact centre helpline on 0808 175 3287. This is the only way for corporate appointees using business bank accounts to apply for the scheme after 31 May.


The contact centre helplines for both schemes will remain open to assist applicants who still have applications being processed or who need assistance with a cancelled or rejected application.

Local authorities will continue to process applications after the schemes have closed to new applications and we expect final payments to all eligible applicants to be completed in the summer.

Any review cases that have been raised by an applicant will also continue to be processed after the schemes close to new applications. Any application that has been incorrectly rejected will be reconsidered by local authorities who will process the claim and, if the application is deemed eligible, will deliver the support into their bank account.

If you have any queries regarding the closure of the EBSS AF, please contact energy.bills.rebate@beis.gov.uk.

If you have any queries regarding the closure of the AFP AF, please contact: Domestic Alternative Fuel Payment domesticAFP@beis.gov.uk

8TH June 2023

Alternative Fuel Payment

IF YOU ARE YET TO REGISTER A SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION FOR THE £200 ALTERNATIVE FUEL PAYMENT GRANT, PLEASE USE THE FOLLOWING LINK TO LEARN HOW YOU CAN MAKE OR PROGRESS YOUR APPLICATIONS – THE SCHEME CLOSES ON THE 31st MAY 2023

TELEPHONE 0808 175 3443

https://www.gov.uk/apply-alternative-fuel-bill-support-if-not-automatic

 

Dear all,

As you are aware the Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding (EBSS AF) launched on 27 February, allowing eligible households who do not have a domestic electricity supply to apply for their £400 support.

The Alternative Fuel Payment Alternative Fund (AFP AF) launched on 6 March, allowing eligible households who use alternative fuels to apply for the £200 support, where this has not already been received directly through their electricity supplier.

Both schemes are closing for new applications on Wednesday 31 May. The application portals will close at 11:59pm 31 May and after 6pm 31 May the contact centre helplines will not accept any new applications for both schemes.

However, applications from corporate appointees using business bank accounts can still apply for the EBSS AF until 16 June, by calling the EBSS AF contact centre helpline on 0808 175 3287. This is the only way for corporate appointees using business bank accounts to apply for the scheme after 31 May.

We are aware that corporate appointees who have attempted to apply for the EBSS AF on behalf of eligible applicants, using a business bank account, have been unable to do so until now as business bank accounts were not accepted. Officials have now resolved this matter, and corporate appointees are now able to apply for the scheme on behalf of eligible individuals via the contact centre helpline.

This limited extension period has therefore been agreed for corporate appointees using business bank accounts as they have been unable to apply throughout the duration of the scheme to date, and so an additional 2 weeks have been provided so that eligible applicants with corporate appointees using business bank accounts are able to apply for their support.

The AFP AF scheme will close on 31 May with no extension period provided. As the use of corporate appointees with business bank accounts is a matter which primarily relates to those in residential care, the AFP AF does not require any extension period as these individuals are not eligible for the AFP AF scheme.

The contact centre helplines for both schemes will remain open to assist applicants who still have applications being processed or who need assistance with a cancelled or rejected application.

Local authorities will continue to process applications after the schemes have closed to new applications and we expect final payments to all eligible applicants to be completed in the summer.

Any review cases that have been raised by an applicant will also continue to be processed after the schemes close to new applications. Any application that has been incorrectly rejected will be reconsidered by local authorities who will process the claim and, if the application is deemed eligible, will deliver the support into their bank account.

If you have any queries regarding the closure of the EBSS AF, please contact energy.bills.rebate@beis.gov.uk.

If you have any queries regarding the closure of the AFP AF, please contact: Domestic Alternative Fuel Payment domesticAFP@beis.gov.uk

Thank you for your continued support throughout the duration of the EBSS AF and the AFP AF.

Kind Regards

The EBSS AF and AFP AF Teams

FURTHER INFORMATION

 NB: For those who have already applied but have had their applications rejected the helplines will REMAIN open to assist them. Also, any review cases that have been raised by an applicant will also continue to be processed after the schemes close to new applications.

 If you are affected by any of these circumstances, please the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero using the relevant email address below.

  If anyone has any queries regarding the closure of the EBSS AF, they should contact energy.bills.rebate@beis.gov.uk.

 If anyone has any queries regarding the closure of the AFP AF, they should contact domesticAFP@beis.gov.uk

 31st May 2023.

RPI change to CPI

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities
3rd Floor (NE) Fry Building
2 Marsham Street
London
SW1P 4DF
www.gov.uk/dluhc

Date: 17 May 2023

Dear park home resident,

The Government committed to introduce legislation to change the inflationary index used in pitch fee reviews from the Retail Price Index (RPI) to the lower Consumer Price Index (CPI).

I am writing to inform you that the change will be introduced by the Mobile Homes (Pitch Fees) Act 2023, when it comes into force on 2 July 2023.

 What this means for you as a park home resident is that on and from 2 July 2023;

  • the inflationary index to be used by site owners in all pitch fee reviews will be the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
  • Residents should check the pitch fee review form to ensure that CPI has been used in the calculation of the proposed pitch fee.
  • If a site owner uses RPI in the calculation of the pitch fee from that day, the pitch fee review will be invalid and the resident does not have to pay the proposed increase. They must however continue to pay the old fee until the First Tier Tribunal makes a determination.
  • A site owner cannot also pass on to residents through the pitch fee, any amount to compensate them for any financial loss arising from the change.

 What happens next

  • Pitch fee reviews will continue as normal. This means that in any review which is started between now and 2 July 2023, the site owner can use RPI in the calculation of the proposed pitch fee.
  • Regulations will shortly be made to change all references in the current pitch fee review form, from RPI to CPI. The consolidated implied terms will also be updated to reflect those changes. The revised pitch fee review form and the consolidated implied terms will be published on GOV.UK website on 2 July 2023.

Attached to this letter are questions and answers regarding the changes which I hope you will find helpful. If you require further advice on the proposed changes or your rights, you can contact LEASE, the free independent service on telephone 020 7832 2525 or through their website at https://parkhomes.lease-advice.org/.

Yours sincerely

William Tandoh

Park Homes Policy Team

 

Q & As – Mobile Homes (Pitch Fees) Act 2013

Q: What changes will the Act introduce?

  • The Act will:
  • change the inflationary index used in pitch fee reviews from the RPI to CPI;
  • prevent the difference between RPI and CPI from being passed on to residents

Q: When will the changes come into effect?

  • The Act will come into force on 2 July 2023. On or after that date, CPI must be used in all pitch fee reviews.

 Q: Will site owners be permitted to pass on any loss of income as a result of the changes, to residents through the pitch fee?

  • Site owners cannot pass on any loss of income as a result of the changes, to residents.

Q: How can residents be sure the site owner has not passed on any lost income through the pitch fee?

  • To conduct a pitch fee review, a site owner is required to use a pitch fee review form which must show how the pitch fee has been calculated.
  • Before agreeing to the proposed pitch fee, residents should check the form carefully and read the notes attached to the form, to ensure that only matters that can be taken into account in a pitch fee review have been used in the calculation.

Q: What should I do if such an amount has been included in the calculation of the pitch fee?

  • If an amount representing a loss of income to the site owner as a result of the changes is included in the calculation, the resident does not have to pay it. The resident must however continue to pay the old pitch fee.
  • The site owner can then apply to the First Tier Tribunal to seek its determination of the pitch fee.
  • If the First-tier Tribunal determines that a site owner has included an amount in the pitch fee to compensate them for the financial loss arising from the RPI/CPI change, it will deem the amount to be unreasonable and remove the relevant amount from the pitch fee.

Q: If a pitch fee review notice is issued before the Act comes into force, will the site owner have to issue another notice to take account of the change?

  • No, the site owner will not have to issue another pitch fee review notice if they issue one before the Act comes into force.
  • Pitch fee reviews which started before 2 July, will use RPI in the calculation of the proposed pitch fee. At the next pitch fee review, the site owner will have to use CPI.

 Q: When must a site owner start using CPI in a pitch fee review?

  • If a pitch fee review notice is issued before 2 July, the site owner will calculate the proposed pitch fee using RPI.
  • If the pitch fee review notice is issued on or after 2 July 2023, the site owner must use CPI to calculate the proposed pitch fee.
  • They must also use the updated pitch fee review form which refers to CPI instead of RPI. The form will be published on GOV.UK on 2 July 2023.
  • If a site owner uses the old form, the pitch fee review will be invalid and the resident does not have to pay the proposed pitch fee.

Q: What changes will be made to the pitch fee review form?

  • First, all references to RPI in the form will change to CPI. 
  • Second, the form will be 6 pages instead of the previous 8 pages.
  • Third, in the notes on page 5 under the section titled ‘Matters that cannot be included in a pitch fee review’, there will be an additional bullet point which makes clear that any costs relating to any financial loss arising from the change from RPI to CPI, cannot be included in a pitch fee review.

 Q: Does my site owner have to give me a copy of the updated consolidated implied terms?

  • No, your site owner does not have to give you a copy of the updated implied terms. 
  • The implied terms will be published on 2 July 2023 on GOV.UK and will automatically apply to all written agreements.

 Should my site owner give me a new written agreement as a result of the changes from RPI to CPI?

  • No, your site owner does not have to give you a new agreement.
  • If your site owner gives or offers you a new written agreement, do not sign or accept it.

If you need any advice about your rights you can contact LEASE on telephone 020 7832 2525 or through their website at https://parkhomes.lease-advice.org/

17th May 2023.

STOP PRESS

URGENT APPEAL TO MEMBERS

Is your name Brown, Morris, Ring, Reid, Turner or Tagliareni?

Have you changed your address or email address?

Some members with these names have forwarded payment to IPHAS without a reference or contact details and we do not know who you are.

Please note that failure to use YOUR MEMBERSHIP NUMBER OR OTHER CONTACT DETAILS when making a payment could mean that in some circumstances your payment could be credited to another account and your membership suspended for non-payment.

We can only help you if we know who you are, so if you think this may be you.

Could you please contact IPHAS Membership as soon as possible, using the message board on the homepage of our website.

Thank you.

May 2023.

 

STOP PRESS

Energy Bills – Government Support for park home residents

*****ENDING 31st MAY2023******

Last Day Tomorrow for eligible groups to apply for

the EBSS AF and AFP AF support, Act today it`s your money.

We want all households who meet the relevant criteria to claim the support that they are entitled to.

Here is the application process for the £400 EBSS AF

and the £200 AFP AF support payments

    1) Go to GOV.UK

2) Search Apply for energy bill support if you do not get it automatically,
on GOV.UK or an internet search engine.

3) Scroll to the relevant application process for each application

4) Follow the screen prompts to apply.

     You will need your bank account details,

     Registered for council tax you will NOT need to provide proof of address or D.O.B.

If you are not applying online, you can do so by using

the telephone numbers shown here.

Tel EBSS AF 0808 175 3287 or AFP AF 0808 175 3943

Open Monday to Friday 8am-6pm.

Evidence required for EBSS AF:

Utility bill – Must be dated no earlier than 3 months before application date

Benefits entitlement letter must be from within the last 6 months.

Evidence required for AFP AF:

Government has extended the period of time that AFP AF applicants can evidence purchase of alternative fuel by three months to June 2022, instead of September 2022. This means the period for which receipts can be accepted now runs from June 2022 to the end of the application window on 31 May 2023.

This change recognises that some households have stocked up on fuel ahead of winter price rises, and it is right that these households will be able to receive the £200 energy bill support they are entitled to.

Please note that to combat fraud and phishing attempts, Government will never provide any links to the application portal or directly ask individuals to apply for their support.

Remember, the Government will never contact you directly to ask for Bank Details.

Beware of scams.

May 2023

APPLYING FOR ENERGY BILL SUPPORT IF YOU DO NOT GET IT AUTOMATICALLY

IPHAS has now received further information from the Government about the application process for the long-awaited EBSS – AF £400 grant, for those residents who do not already receive this automatically.

Whilst an earlier announcement was made that the application process is now live, it is confirmed that the formal roll-out date for applications remains Monday 27th February 2023. However, we have been advised that any applications made between now and the formal roll-out next Monday, will be accepted by the Department.

It has also been confirmed today that the ALTERNATIVE FUEL PAYMENT – ALTERNATIVE FUNDING grant of £200 (available to those residents using LPG, and without a direct energy supply contract), will be subject to a different application process, the details of which will be announced shortly.

PLEASE NOTE, THE APPLICATION PORTAL CAN ONLY BE ACCESSED BY ENTERING THE FOLLOWING PHRASE INTO YOUR BROWSER BAR –

Apply for energy bill support if you do not get it automatically.

THIS IS FOR SECURITY PURPOSES – NO GOVERNMENT LINKS WILL BE PROVIDED OFFERING DIRECT ACCESS TO THE APPLICATION PROCESS.
PLEASE BE AWARE THAT ANY TEXTS, EMAILS OR OTHER COMMUNICATIONS YOU MAY RECEIVE INVITING YOU TO APPLY, WILL NOT COME FROM THE GOVERNMENT.

ONCE YOUR APPLICATION HAS BEEN ACCEPTED, YOU SHOULD RECEIVE A COMMUNICATION FROM YOUR LOCAL AUTHORITY (WITHIN FOUR WEEKS), TO TELL YOU ABOUT YOUR PAYMENT

If a resident cannot apply online or needs help with their application, they should contact the helpline team on –
Telephone: 0808 175 3287 – Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm OR
Email: alternativefunding@ebss.beis.gov.uk

IAN PYE IPHAS (2021) LTD 23rd February 2023

NEW BENEFIT PAYMENT RATES FROM APRIL 2023

NEW BENEFIT PAYMENT RATES FROM APRIL 2023

Millions of people across the country will see their benefit payments and State Pension go up by 10.1% from next month. The Chancellor has confirmed that State Pension, disability, and most working age benefits will increase from April, in line with the rate of inflation in September. This means that on average, a family on Universal Credit will benefit by around £600 this year.

The benefit cap will also rise in line with inflation, increasing from £23,000 to £25,323 for families in Greater London and from £20,000 to £22,020 for families nationally – lower caps for single households without children will rise from £15,410 to £16,967 in Greater London and from £13,400 to £14,753 nationally.

Here’s the full list of payments from the Department for Work and Pensions and HM Revenue and Customs – and how much they will increase next month.

Weekly rates are shown, unless otherwise stated and have been rounded as per the UK Government policy.

Attendance Allowance

Higher rate: £101.75 (from £92.40)

Lower rate: £68.10 (from £61.85)

Carer’s Allowance

April 2023 rate: £76.75 (from £69.70)

Disability Living Allowance / Child Disability Payment

Care Component

Highest: £101.75 (from £92.40)

Middle: £68.10 (from £61.85)

Lowest: £26.90 (from £24.45)

Mobility component

Higher: £71.00 (from £64.50)

Lower: £26.90 (from £24.45)

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

Under 25: £67.20 (from £61.05)

25 or over: £84.80 (from £77.00)

Incapacity Benefit (long-term)

April 2023 rate: £130.20 (from £118.25)

Income Support

Under 25: £67.20 (from £61.05)

25 or over: £84.80 from (£77.00)

Jobseeker’s Allowance (contributions based)

Under 25: £67.20 (from £61.05)

25 or over: £84.80 (from £77.00)

Jobseeker’s Allowance (income-based)

Under 25: £67.25 (from £61.05)

25 or over: £84.80 (from £77.00)

Maternity/Paternity/Shared Parental Allowance

Standard rate: £172.48 (from £156.66)

Pension Credit

Single: £201.05 (from £182.60)

Couple: £306.85 (from £278.70)

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) / Adult Disability payment

Daily Living Component

Enhanced: £101.75 (from £92.40)

Standard: £68.10 (from £61.85)

Mobility Component

Enhanced: £71.00 (from £64.50)

Standard: £26.90 (from £24.45)

State Pension

Full New State Pension: £203.85 (from £185.15)

Basic Old State Pension (Category A or B): £156.20 (from £141.85)

Widow’s Pension

Standard rate: £139.10 (from £126.35)

Universal Credit (Monthly rates shown)

Standard allowance

Single under 25: £292.11 (from £265.31)

25 or over: £368.74 (from £334.91)

Couple

Joint claimants both under 25: £458.51 (from £416.45)

Joint claimants, one or both 25 or over: £578.82 (from £525.72)

Child Benefit payment rates for 2023/24

There are two Child Benefit rates in place.

Current rates per week

Eldest or only child – £21.80

Additional children – £14.45

New rates per week – from April 2023

Eldest or only child – £24.00

Additional children – £15.90

Guardian’s Allowance rates from April 2023

The new weekly rate for Guardian’s Allowance will be £20.40 – an increase of £1.85 on the current 2022/23 rate of £18.55.

Working Tax Credit rates for 2023/24 (yearly amount shown)

Working Tax Credit is paid to people who are in work and on a low income – it does not matter whether you are an employee or self-employed, and you do not need to have children to get the payment.

Child Tax Credit is paid to people who have children and is paid in addition to Child Benefit and the Scottish Child Payment – you do not have to be working to receive it.

Here are the details of the proposed new payment thresholds and rates for the 2023/24 financial year.

Working Tax Credit income threshold

2023/24 rate: £7,455

2022/23 rate: £6,770

Basic element

2023/24 rate: £2,280

2022/23rate: £2,070

Couples and lone parent element

2023/24 rate: £2,340

2022/23 rate: £2,125

30-hour element

2023/24 rate: £950

2022/23 rate: £860

Disabled worker element

2023/24 rate: £3,685

2022/23 rate: £3,345

Severe disability element

2023/24 rate: £1,595

2022/23 rate: £1,445

Child Tax Credit rates for 2023/24 (yearly amount shown)

Child Tax Credit income threshold

2023/24 rate: £18,725

2022/23 rate: £17,005

Family element

2023/24 rate: £545 (no change)

2022/23 rate: £545

Child and qualifying young person element

2023/24 rate: £3,235

2022/23 rate: £2,935

Child disability element

2023/24 rate: £3,905

2022/23 rate: £3,545

Severely disabled rate of the child disability element

2023/24 rate: £1,575

2022/23 rate: £1,430

Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS AF) Factsheet

  • The EBSS AF will provide a payment of £400 to around 900,000 households without a direct relationship to a domestic electricity supplier in England, Scotland, and Wales, to support them with their energy bill costs.
  • This support is equivalent to the support provided automatically to households through the Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS).
  • The scheme is now open to all eligible households across Great Britain until 31 May 2023.

Eligibility

  • Subject to applications meeting full requirements, households who will be able to receive support through the EBSS AF include:
    • care home residents and others in care facilities/sheltered accommodation (wholly or partly self-funded)
    • park home residents, houseboats and caravans that can provide proof of address
    • social and private tenants who pay for energy through a landlord on a commercial supply
    • homes on a heat network/private wire
    • off-grid homes
    • farmhouses used for wholly domestic purposes

Application process

  • Those who are eligible for the EBSS AF will need to submit a short online application via the Government’s GOV.UK webpages.
  • This page can be found by searching “Apply for energy bill support if you do not get it automatically” into the search bar on GOV.UK or an internet search engine.
  • For those without online access, the contact centre helpline can be reached on 08081753287 where a representative will guide them through the application process.

Receiving payments

  • Once customers have applied to receive support, their details will be shared with Local Authorities across England, Scotland and Wales, who will confirm eligibility and deliver the one-off, non-repayable support.
  • The exact date that an eligible household will receive support will depend on when the application is made and when the payment can be processed by their local authority.
  • A single payment of £400 will be made directly into the applicant’s bank account.

Countering Scams

  • The government will never provide any links to the online application portal, to counter any fraudulent links being inserted. As many of the eligible households will include vulnerable individuals, we believe it is important to adopt this approach to reduce their exposure to scams.
  • Please ensure that no links are provided in any of your electronic communications.

BEIS ANNOUNCEMENT: EBSS AF / AFP / EBSS NI

BEIS ANNOUNCEMENT: EBSS AF / AFP / EBSS NI

This morning, BEIS made a further announcement regarding energy bill support.
This includes:

EBSS Alternative Funding – £400 for those in England, Wales and Scotland who do not have a direct relationship with an energy supplier.
Alternative Fuel Payment – A £200 payment to help those households in Great Britain who use alternative fuels such as biomass or heating oil.
A £600 payment to the people of Northern Ireland, combining EBSS and the Alternative Fuel Payment.

Vital help with energy bills on the way for millions more homes across Great Britain and Northern Ireland
UK Government confirms all households in Northern Ireland will receive a single payment totalling £600 to help with their energy bills, with payments starting in January
Households across Great Britain that use alternative fuels like heating oil will receive a £200 payment this winter
900,000 households in England, Scotland and Wales without a direct relationship to an energy supplier – such as care home or park home residents – will be able to apply online for £400 of non-repayable help with their fuel bills

Support with winter energy bills is on the way for millions more households across the United Kingdom, as the Government today confirms details of a single £600 payment to help households in Northern Ireland with their heating and electricity bills, as well as details of how those using alternative fuels and households without a direct relationship to an energy supplier will receive help with their energy costs.
These schemes augment the cost-of-living package of assistance the government has in place to help reduce energy bills for households across the United Kingdom. This includes the Energy Price Guarantee which saves a typical household in Great Britain around £900 this winter and an equivalent level of support in Northern Ireland.

Business and Energy Secretary Grant Shapps said:
“Putin’s illegal war has caused global energy prices to soar, but we are continuing to work hard and urgently to get help to households across the UK, and this update provides people with more certainty on when and how we will deliver help with fuel bills.
“We’re already limiting the amount suppliers can charge consumers for their energy through the Energy Price Guarantee, which will continue to help consumers through to March 2024. We’ve all seen and felt the temperature dropping recently, so today’s updates will help millions worry less about their energy and heating bills this winter.”

Energy bills support for households in Northern Ireland
All households in Northern Ireland will receive a single, one-off £600 payment to help with their bills. Payments will start in January 2023. This will be made up of £400 of support under the Government’s Energy Bills Support Scheme Northern Ireland (EBSS NI), and £200 of support under the Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP) scheme, which will go to all households in Northern Ireland irrespective of how they heat their home.
The UK Government has confirmed today it will fund electricity companies for this payment to ensure they’re administered quickly, and that suppliers should start to make payments to customers in January. This means most NI consumers will receive the full amount of energy bills support before households in Great Britain, whilst still receiving the same level of support this winter.
All households in Northern Ireland will receive the support in a single payment to ensure the full benefit of the scheme is felt as soon as possible. The Northern Ireland scheme differs in this respect from EBSS in Great Britain to account for the particular nature of the NI energy market.

Administered by energy suppliers, customers who pay by Direct Debit will receive the £600 into their bank account directly. Other customers will be sent a voucher to redeem for the £600 payment, with further details of how they will work and what ID will be required to be set out shortly.

Today’s announcement comes as the Minister for Energy and Climate writes to Northern Ireland energy suppliers setting out his expectations, which includes urging them to suspend all debt recovery and enforcement activity until the end of January, as well as provide payment holidays until the end of January where customers are struggling to pay their bills.

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Chris Heaton-Harris said:
“I am acutely aware of the uncertainty and frustration that people across Northern Ireland have felt about their energy bill support. Families can start the new year knowing that they will receive the full support from January.
“I am grateful that officials and Ministers and energy suppliers have found a solution, especially given the complexity of NI’s energy market, although I would have liked to have seen Northern Ireland political parties deliver this, as part of a restored Executive.”

Energy bills support in England, Scotland, and Wales via EBSS Alternative Funding and Alternative Fuel Payments
As well as this support for homes across Northern Ireland, the Government has also announced details today for how people in England, Scotland and Wales without a direct relationship to a domestic energy supplier, including many care home residents and those living in park homes, will receive a £400 discount on their fuel bills through the Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding (EBSS Alternative Funding).
The Government is also providing a further £200 Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP) to help those households in Great Britain who use alternative fuels such as biomass or heating oil to meet energy costs this winter. Most households eligible for the AFP support in Great Britain, will receive payment automatically via their electricity supplier in February, with no need to take any action. Those households who will need to apply for the AFP, for example because they do not have a relationship with an electricity supplier, will be able to do so in February, through the same GOV.UK portal as the one that will be used to apply for support under the EBSS Alternative Funding scheme.

Minister for Energy and Climate, Graham Stuart, said:
“Getting this support for households’ bills out across the country will save hundreds of pounds for millions of people during the coldest months of the year. This has been a top priority and joint effort, with close work between officials and electricity suppliers in Northern Ireland, as well as with Local Authorities in Great Britain who will help get support to over 900,000 households who don’t have the direct relationship with energy suppliers that the vast majority of households do.”
Online applications will open in January for households in England, Scotland and Wales who are eligible for the £400 EBSS Alternative Funding to submit their details, alongside a helpline for those without online access. Payments to households that meet the eligibility criteria – including people who get their energy through a commercial contract or who are off-grid – will be made by Local Authorities in Great Britain. This is likely to include:

Care home residents;
Residents of park homes;
Tenants in certain private and social rented homes;
Homes supplied via private wires;
Residents of caravans and houseboats on registered sites;
Farmers living in domestic farmhouses; and
Off-grid households.

Most households who don’t have a direct relationship with a domestic energy supplier have already been benefitting from subsidised energy bills through the Government’s business support scheme, with the Energy Prices Act legislation passed earlier in the year to ensure those benefits are passed on to consumers who do not pay their energy bills directly.

To make the process as simple as possible for consumers, those who are eligible for the EBSS Alternative Funding will need to submit a short online form via the Government’s GOV.UK pages, with the application portal due to open in January. A dedicated customer helpline will be available to assist customers who do not have online access, with further details to be released next month. Customers who are eligible for support under the main Energy Bills Support Scheme are not eligible for EBSS Alternative Funding.

Once customers have applied to receive support and their applications have been processed and verified, eligible customers’ details will be shared with Local Authorities across England, Scotland and Wales, who will deliver the one-off, non-repayable support this winter. Applicants will only be able to submit information through GOV.UK from January and should not contact their Local Authority in the meantime. The exact date that an eligible household will receive support will depend on when the application is made and when the payment can be processed by the relevant Local Authority.
Existing support for energy bills this winter

As well as discounts provided through the EBSS and Alternative Fuel Payments, the government’s Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) will save a typical household in Great Britain around £900 this winter, based on what energy prices would have been under the current price cap – reducing bills by roughly a third. For households in Northern Ireland, the Energy Price Guarantee is already providing equivalent support to the rest of Great Britain – helping those using gas and electricity save around £550 this winter. Further support in direct payments is also being provided to vulnerable households this year, including cost of living payments for pensioners, people receiving disability-related allowances and those on means-tested benefits. The Household Support Fund provides additional assistance for those most in need and £26 billion worth of targeted support will help protect the most vulnerable in the next financial year.
BEIS 19TH DECEMBER 2022

UK GOVERNMENT ENERGY BILLS SUPPORT SCHEME

Dear Fellow Members,

Many of you have been in contact with our Advisory Services Team, seeking advice about how you will receive the promised £400 energy relief package, promised to be ‘delivered to every home’, by the Prime Minister.

If you purchase your energy from a supplier in the domestic market, you will be registered with one of the energy retail companies and should have no problem in receiving the £400.

However, although park home legislation affords you the right to source your own energy supplies with an energy retailer, many of you have accepted the convenience of purchasing your energy from your park owner. Unwittingly, in so doing, this has created a major obstacle to you having access to the grant. As a business owner, your park owner must purchase his energy from the non-domestic market, which is not subject to the same price capping controls as the domestic market. The site is likely to have one gas and one electricity meter registered to the park’s business. I understand that you all have meters in your homes, but as you are not registered with the energy retailers, they don’t know about you. Also, it’s unlikely that your park owner has created a record of the serial numbers of your individual meters.

We have also been asked, ‘Why can’t we receive the grant though our Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) supplier? LPG is also sold through the non-domestic market, and IPHAS understand it does not provide a platform that could be used to deliver the grant.

The lack of registration has raised other concerns, for you may well be suffering from a ‘loyalty penalty’, in that you be may paying higher unit charges than you would as an independent consumer, even though your park owner is only allowed to charge you the same unit tariff that he is charged, and he must provide you free of charge, documentary evidence in support and explanation of all his charges to you.

Another consequence of this scenario is, should you suffer an outage that leaves you without power, heat and light for a time, an event which may also have damaged electronic equipment in your home beyond repair, you are unlikely to benefit from the industry compensation scheme, as they only have a contract with your park owner. However, he will be compensated for any personal loss.

As many of you are aware, park home communities are predominately retirement communities, a lifestyle choice for many. Due to the increasing disquiet over how the EBSS can be delivered to all communities (those living in residential care settings are affected in the same way as park homeowners), IPHAS are now engaged with AGE UK to pursue an early resolution to the current impasse on payments. We also seek to establish whether there is further scope for co-operation on all issues affecting park home residents. AGE UK has kindly sanctioned IPHAS to post the following link for your information.

Ian Pye CHAIR, The Independent Park Home Advisory Service (2021) Ltd.                                08/06/2022

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/globalassets/age-uk/documents/reports-and-publications/consultation-responses-and-submissions/safe-at-home/consultation-response—technical-proposals-for-the-energy-bills-support-scheme-department-for-business-energy–industrial-strategy.pdf

Important Announcement

Dear Members and Park Home Owners,

Last year the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, commissioned the University of Liverpool, assisted by Hallam University, Sheffield, to carry out research to gather data to enable an assessment to be made of impacts on the sector of a change to the maximum 10% commission paid on the sale of a mobile home. I am pleased to inform you that we have today received the final report “The impact of a change in the maximum park home sale commission”, from the Department.

A copy of the report is available at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mobile-homes-the-impact-of-a-change-in-the-maximum-park-home-sale-commission

The Government will now consider the report and recommendations in more detail and set out the next steps in due course.
IPHAS would like to thank all those who participated, and contributed to this important piece of research.

IAN R PYE, CHAIR – IPHAS(2021) LTD.

ENERGY STATEMENT FROM BEIS

Dear Mr Pye,

Thank you for your letter of 21st March, about the challenges facing Park Home residents in terms of their energy contracts.

The Secretary of State is grateful to you for having taken the time to write. I have been asked to respond on his behalf.

We recognise the difficult position that many households are in with the continued impact of Covid-19 and rising energy prices. How much consumers pay for their energy, as well as fairness and affordability are at the heart of the government’s commitment to driving bill savings and ensuring costs are distributed fairly.

The energy price cap was introduced through legislation to address an issue where certain groups of customers in the domestic market were found to be paying too much for their energy through a loyalty penalty. It was not designed to mitigate high global wholesale prices which is what we are currently seeing.

Park home owners purchase gas or electricity in the non-domestic market, which has a greater diversity of supply arrangements for businesses compared to the domestic sector. We are not aware that commercial contracts purchased by businesses, like mobile park owners suffer a loyalty penalty like domestic default tariffs do, and this is why the price cap legislation doesn’t cover them.

Ofgem sets the Quality of Service Guaranteed Standards that must be met by each electricity network company, which includes an entitlement to compensation if distribution companies fail to meet the service standards required.

If residents are connected to a private network that is owned and operated by the residential park owner or operator, instead of being connected directly to the local Distribution Network Operator network, the Distribution Network Operator only has one customer directly connected to their network – the private network owned by residential park owner. Under the Guaranteed Standards of Performance, Distribution Network Operators are only required to make payments for supply interruptions to customers that are directly connected to their network. Private network operators are not required to make payments to their customers under this scheme.

The current compensation rules were set in April 2015 for the duration of the current price control period, which runs from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2023, and cannot be changed. I understand that Ofgem is in the process of considering the arrangements for the next price control period, which starts on 1 April 2023, and as part of this they will review the eligibility criteria for compensation claims due to power disruptions.

The Energy Ombudsman has been approved by Ofgem to independently handle and resolve disputes between customers and energy companies. If residents feel that their energy company has not appropriately handled and resolved their complaint, they can refer this to the Energy Ombudsman. Further details and points of contact can be found at the following link. www.ombudsman-services.org/sectors/energy.

The Government recognises this is a worrying time for consumers facing pressures due to the significant increases in global gas prices. Our priority is to ensure costs are managed and supplies of energy are maintained. The Secretary of State is in regular contact with the energy industry and Ofgem to manage the impact of high global gas prices and will continue to monitor the situation incredibly closely, including the impacts for consumers supplied by commercial energy contracts.

Yours sincerely,

Helen Huish
BEIS CORRESPONDENCE UNIT

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MHCLG SURVEY ON 10% COMMISSION

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government commissioned The University of Liverpool and Sheffield Hallam University to provide essential research on the residential park homes sector to inform their review of the maximum 10 per cent commission paid on the sale of park homes. Their report was received at the Ministry of Housing Staff on 12th January 2022 and is currently being assessed by their staff.

FIT AND PROPER PERSON TEST

The fit and proper Regulations were made on 23 September 2020 and came into force in two parts. The first part came into force on 1 July 2021 by which time local authorities were required to be ready to receive applications from site owners. The second part came into force on 1 October 2021 by which time all site owners were required to have submitted applications to be assessed.

Local authorities will be able to charge an application fee and an annual fee and to recover the costs they have incurred, or which will be incurred, in appointing a person to manage a site with the site owner’s consent. This is consistent with the approach to other licensing fees (i.e., site licence fee). The charges should be shared between all residents and should be added to the Pitch Fee Review The fit and proper Regulations were made on 23 September 2020 and came into force in two parts. The first part came into force on 1 July 2021 by which time local authorities were required to be ready to receive applications from site owners. The second part came into force on 1 October 2021 by which time all site owners were required to have submitted applications to be assessed.

Local authorities will be able to charge an application fee and an annual fee and to recover the costs they have incurred, or which will be incurred, in appointing a person to manage a site with the site owner’s consent. This is consistent with the approach to other licensing fees (i.e. site licence fee). The charges should be shared between all residents and should be added to the Pitch Fee Review under Section 4C of the PFR form – ‘Recoverable Costs’.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/1034/data.pdf

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mobile-homes-fit-and-proper-person-test-guidance-for-local-authorities/mobile-homes-a-guide-for-local-authorities-on-the-fit-and-proper-person-test