The Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP) is part of the government’s cost of living assistance package this winter. 

What is the Alternative Fuel Payment? 

The AFP scheme means that customers who use alternative fuels, such as biomass or heating oil, are entitled to a £200 payment. If you’re an alternative fuel user and we’re responsible for your electricity supply, we’ll send you the payment in February 2023.

Who’s entitled to the payment?

Households who use alternative fuels - such as biomass, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) or heating oil - and are located in specific areas of England, Scotland and Wales, are entitled to the £200 payment. In particular, the AFP scheme supports households in rural areas that aren’t connected to the gas grid.

Do I need to apply to get the payment?

No, there’s no need to get in touch. All eligible customers will automatically receive the payment if their electricity supply is located in an area where the AFP is applicable (as per the Government’s postcode checker).

Will I need to pay back the £200?

No, you won’t be asked to pay it back.

When and how will I receive the Alternative Fuel Payment?

If we already know your bank details - for example, you pay by Direct Debit or store them with us for your smart prepayment meter - you’ll see the payment appear in your bank account on or around the Wednesday 15 February 2023.

If you pay on receipt of your bill or top up your prepayment meter without sharing your bank details with us, we’ll post a cheque to you by Royal Mail 1st Class by the end of February. You’ll need to deposit the cheque before 30 June, when the scheme ends.

I haven’t received the payment but think I might be entitled to it

Most households that qualify for the AFP will receive a single £200 payment directly from their electricity supplier. However, a small number of households will need to apply to the AFP Alternative Fund. 

This applies to households that use alternative fuels and:

  • Don’t have a direct relationship with an electricity supplier
  • Are in an area mainly connected to the gas grid
  • Are in an area that is off the gas grid but where households are mostly electrically heated

If you think this is you, applications to the AFP Alternative Fund opened this spring and will close on 31 May 2023. If you’ve already applied and need more support, please call the Government’s AFP helpline on 0808 175 3943. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.

Will I still receive the payment if I rent? 

Yes, as long as you’re the electricity account holder.

If my rent includes bills, how do I make sure my landlord passes on the payment?

There are some situations where another person is responsible for the bill (and named on it). In this case, the payment should be passed on to whoever pays for the electricity. You’ll need to discuss this directly with your landlord. 

I don’t need the payment. Can I opt out?

In line with instructions provided by the UK Government, all eligible households will automatically receive the discount and there’s no way to opt out. 

Can I donate my payment to charity? 

You’re welcome to donate the payment to charity, although we’re unable to do this on your behalf. 

Will I receive the payment if I’m in arrears or debt?

All households that are eligible for the Alternative Fuel Payment will receive a direct payment to their bank account or a cheque. This payment is independent from your energy account balance and we won’t use this money to reduce your debt if your Shell Energy account is in arrears. 

If you’re struggling financially, or worried about your energy bills, we’re here to support you.

What other support is the Government offering?

Here’s our guide to government measures that can help you with the cost of living.