A man who lives in a caravan park has revealed he’s only able to afford one meal a day as he’s missed out on Government help. Hundreds of thousands of Britons, currently living in caravans, boats and other homes not connected to the power grid, have urged the Government to offer support as they are set to face soaring energy bills this winter. In order to help with energy bills, the Government announced a £37billion support scheme to help Britons with spiralling living costs. Through this scheme, millions of households will be given a £400 energy bill discount to help soften the impact of rising bills this winter, which will be applied to bills by energy suppliers.
The Government has estimated that 400,000 off-grid households, living in caravans, boats or homes, could miss out on its discount meant to help Britons through the winter.
While they have promised that additional funding will be provided to support such homes, they have released details about the scheme, leading to concerns among the community as winter approaches fast.
Speaking to the i, Alan Booth, who lives in Northfield Park near Gloucester said that he has already been forced to make major cutbacks to pay for the increased costs of heating his home.
To heat his home, Mr Booth purchases gas canisters one a week, which used to cost him £53, but as prices soar, he has been paying over £67 a week to heat his home.
He also found that the £10 electricity cards that he would buy from his landlord are now being used up a lot faster than before, as he now has to buy four cards a month, instead of two.
Mr Booth currently survives on universal credit as he is unable to work, and given that he’s already been forced to make adjustments to afford his energy bills, he is concerned about the winter months.
He said: “Let’s say I probably used to eat three square meals a day and I now eat one.” He has also been forced to limit how much he uses his car.
Since people living on a park home or a houseboat do not have a domestic energy contract, and thus the Government has warned that they won’t receive the same £400 discount.
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However, ministers have vowed that funding will be made available for the 1 percent of households that do not qualify, however no further details have been released.
Nick Brown, Secretary of the National Bargee Travellers Association, which supports people living on boats, noted that the his organisation had received many enquires from Britons living on boats on how they could claim the discount.
He told the i: “It has been disappointing to have to tell people who are obviously very worried about the coming winter that we don’t know.
“The huge increase in the cost of all types of heating, lighting and cooking fuel is affecting off-grid communities just as much as the settled population.”
Many boat dwellers power their barges using diesel engines or petrol generators to heat their homes, the cost of which has also been soaring/
However, some households that live off-grid will be able to access other relief measures from the Government, including the £650 cost of living payment for people in receipt of certain benefits.
Earlier this week, the Government also confirmed that it would provide a £100 payment to households off the gas grid and will be keeping support for alternative fuels under review.