Getting help for energy support for ALL liveaboard boaters

Published: Wednesday, 03 May 2023

THERE is a mass lobby making the case that the Energy Bill Support Scheme needs to include all those living on boats.

The Canal & River Trust together with the Inland Waterways Association, National Association of Boat Owners, Residential Boat Owners’ Association, Association of Waterway Cruising Clubs and the Accessible Waterways Association are pushing for the scheme for all liveaboards.

Write to your MP

They are also calling on all boaters to write to their local MPs to help raise awareness of the issue with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

For the past year, the Canal & River Trust, with others, has been in regular contact with BEIS and provided information about boat licences, types of moorings, boater demographics, and the specific needs of liveaboard boaters and consistently highlighted the need to include liveaboard boaters who do not have a home mooring in the scheme and has offered to help BEIS by providing confirmation of boat licences where no home mooring is declared.

Does not cover continuous cruisers

In February 2023 the government launched a support scheme which, unfortunately, only covers liveaboard boats with a home mooring, but not continuous cruisers.

Matthew Symonds, National Boating Manager at Canal & River Trust, explained:

"After months of talks with government, providing comprehensive information on boaters’ needs and finding ways to make the scheme work, it’s incredibly disappointing that there is still no resolution on support with energy bills for those liveaboard boaters who don’t have a home mooring.

“It simply isn’t fair that some people living on boats are left out in the cold by the current Energy Bill Support Scheme. While we are continuing to work with the government to resolve this, we would encourage all boaters to write to their local MPs and tell them about the impact this lack of support will have on a sizeable proportion of the boating community.”

Get in touch

The Canal & River Trust is advising boaters who are struggling with the cost of living to get in touch with its welfare team. Boaters who already receive benefits (including Universal Credit, PIP and Pension Credit), should have already received other payments to support them with the increased cost of living.

The trust's  welfare officers are on hand to offer support with missed cost of living payments, and advice about benefits and organisations that may be able to help.

Boaters wishing to write to their MP to raise awareness about the need for the Energy Bill Support Scheme to include all those living on boats can find the contact details on the UK Parliament website.

Apply for support

 Boaters can apply for the government support here: Apply for energy bill support if you do not get it automatically - GOV.UK ( Please note the Government will not directly send a link to the page and any such request will be a scam.