MILLIONS of households are eligible for a new £200 cost of living payment which will help them with their energy bills.

Households in England, Scotland and Wales that don’t use main gas and use alternative heating fuels, such as heating oil, biomass boilers or LPG, can get an additional £200 of support on top of the £400 from their energy supplier for electricity.

Around five per cent of homes in the UK are heated by oil, the equivalent of 1.5 million households.

The cost for them has soared from 58p per litre in 2021 to 94p per litre now, while it hit highs of £1.59 per litre last year.

South Wales Argus:

A further 200,000 families heat their homes with LPG.

The payment was highlighted by Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis on ITV’s Martin Lewis Money Show on Tuesday.

Speaking on the show, Martin said: “That long promised £200 energy support cost of living payment was started to be paid out yesterday and I'm told it should finish being paid out this month.

"It is automatically paid through your electricity supplier unless your fully off grid and don't have electricity, in which case, you will need to apply later in February.

"Those on pre-payment you'll get vouchers. They'll email you, they'll post it or they may text you about it so watch out for that."

Minister for Energy and Climate Graham Stuart said: “Our main energy bill support schemes have seen millions of homes and businesses across the country get much needed help to cover costs, with figures today showing nearly £3 billion in Government support has been paid out to business to date.

“Now we’re getting support to those remaining few that are off the gas grid and most difficult to reach.”

The payments should start arriving in eligible bank accounts this week and will continue to be paid throughout the month.

However, some families may need to apply for the support. They are households with no energy supplier, such as those living on static houseboats.

An online portal will launch to handle those applications later this month, and people have been encouraged not to take any action until the portal launches.

A Government spokesman said: "Customers will not be asked for details by any individual or organisation prior to this or outside of the portal, and any such contact is likely to be a scam.

“If you require additional help when applying for your AFP support, you may wish to seek assistance from a family member or trusted friend."