Briefed by the Department for Business and Energy

Published: Wednesday, 21 December 2022

THE narrowboatworld was briefed by the Department for Business and Energy on Monday (19th December 2022), writes Kelvin Alexander-Duggan.

As from January 2023, applications [from liveaboards] can be made online for the £400 energy rebate.

No checks—no payment

There will be a phone helpline for those people who don't have access to the internet to help with making the application for the rebate. Full details to be announced in the new year. The payment to be made by the local council after cross checks have been completed. For Liveaboards with legal moorings and paying council tax it will be a quick and simply process. While others without moorings may not bother to apply as they may have something to hide and don't want to get on any databases. If you don't pass the checks, no payment—simple as that.

The rebate includes households living in caravan parks, on houseboats, homes supplied through a 3rd party, and households living off-grid.

For the two million households who don't have mains gas and use alternative fuels for heating, of which about 1.7m use heating oil, with the remainder using fuels including coal, liquefied petroleum gas and biomass, the new chancellor stated last month that he would increase support from £100 to £200 for households using alternative fuels to heat their homes.

For many, after the cold spell we just had, these funds will come in useful.

Sadly some retailers have been ripping people off on the price of coal that they have been selling. I award the 'Badge of Shame' to the 'Central England Co-operative' for charging £13 for a 10Kg bag of smokeless coal, The average local corner shop price being £8 per 10Kg bag in the area.

Does anyone care?

A few days ago, Victor posed the question did anyone care? The answer is plain and simple, Unlike the NBTA who had to make song and dance about what they claim to have been doing, blowing their own trumpet as they always doing while trying to claim the credit. While other organisations got on with job, working with Whitehall to set the scheme up. They had no need to make a song and dance about what they were doing. Like most people I take any claim made by the NBTA with a very large pinch of salt. Its petition was a failure; it did not reach its target even with people being encouraged to sign multiple times on Social Media. The NBTA state the statement that support would be available was made in August, when in fact it was made in July. They also made no comment about the £200 alternative fuels rebate. Yet it has been known about for months that it was was set at a £100 to start with.

According to the NBTA, 40% of boaters live on minimum wage and rely on food banks. When in fact they are talking about their own membership. The NBTA believe that the rules don't apply to them.

The NBTA claim to speak for all liveaboards (2,600) in the UK. Most liveaboards are in fact based on legal moorings in harbours and river estuarys, in marinas or on swing moorings. Most of the owners of these are either members of the Residential Boat Owners' Association or The Royal Yachting Association or both. The RYA and RBOA are just two of the many organisations consulted by the Department for Business and Energy in setting up this scheme. While the NBTA did what it normally does, make demands on unfounded claims.

The London canals are full of freeloaders and chancers hogging the towpath leaching off the local council tax payer for services. Yet there are more liveaboards inside the M25 moored on the Thames either in creeks, harbours, on floating moorings, marinas and in the London Docklands. The main thing here is that the owners pay council tax on their moorings, therefore paying for the services they use.

The government Press Release.