It’s dreadful and scary’: people living off-grid feel forgotten after delays to energy bill support
Author: Lucie Heath
People living off-grid, including in parks and on houseboats, are struggling to heat their homes as they wait to receive support payments through a delayed Government scheme that was first promised in September last year. One pensioner living in a park home told she is too scared to put her heating on, while a boater said he is concerned when he sees other houseboats “without smoke coming out of the chimney”. They are both waiting to hear when they will receive any Government help with their energy bills. Almost one million households in the UK living in off-grid homes have been promised a £400 payment to help them with rising energy costs. People living off-grid without a direct relationship to an energy supplier, such as park home, houseboat or caravan residents, are eligible. A Government spokesperson said: “We recognise the need to support those not connected to mains electricity, especially communities and businesses. The government is providing hundreds of thousands of off-grid households with energy bills support this winter. Julian Gurney, who lives in an off-grid cottage in Exmoor National Park, has also been in touch with his local council to find out when he will receive the Government support payments. He was told by his council that he will be able to fill out a form on the Government’s website in January, but has not received any more updates. Mr Gurney heats his home using a wood burner stove and runs a diesel generator for electricity. Last summer, he spent £1,500 filling up his diesel tank due to fears that diesel prices were going to keep rising.