THE update on the energy rebate for liveaboards boaters has been published, writes K Alexander-Duggan.
Business Minister, Graham Stuart MP in reply to a question from Patricia Gibson SNP on the 24th October, stated:
“The Government is working urgently with a range of organisations such as local authorities, as well as Devolved Administrations and across UK Government, to finalise the details and have the process up and running for applications this winter.”
Will receive equivalent support
Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) spokesperson in a Press Release to narrowboatworld on the 2nd November explained:
“Households not on standard gas or electricity contracts, including houseboat residents, will receive support equivalent to both the Energy Price Guarantee, which limits what households can be charged, and the Energy Bills Support Scheme, which provides a £400 rebate to bill payers.
“The Government is working at pace to determine the most practical way of delivering this support. Further details will be announced shortly.”
Further information on support with energy bills can be found on the factsheet on GOV.UK
Why is it taking so long to setup?
This is a complex problem for Whitehall to setup involving many different organisations. Plus there is the added problem with the need to prevent fraud or double payment.
Then there is the fact that not everyone has a bank or Building Society account, Although the percentage of people who are unbanked in the UK is relatively small, it still amounts to about 1.3 million people (FCA 2021).
Some people through choice don't have an address where post can be sent. Then there are some who don't want to be on any databases and may be in hiding.
Its is expected that any method set up to process applications will take time due to these problems. I'm sure that the towpath squatters along the canals in London and the lower Lee, rather the Government, sent someone walking down the towpath chucking bundles of notes, no questions asked on to every boat passed.
Any application will need to be cross-checked over a number of databases to prevent fraud and double payment. Only liveaboards will be able to apply for this rebate, so anyone thinking of making an application for their holiday boat. Be warned your next holiday may be inside doing time. People whose boats are on legal moorings and pay council tax should have no trouble in applying for this rebate once the process is setup.