Raising awareness of the issue
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, we are calling on all boaters to write to their local MPs to help raise awareness of the issue.
For the past year, we have been in regular contact with BEIS and provided information about boat licences, types of moorings, boater demographics, and the specific needs of liveaboard boaters. Throughout, it has 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.
In February 2023 the Government launched a support scheme which, unfortunately, only covers liveaboard boats with a home mooring.
Write to your MP
Matthew Symonds, our national boating manager, said: “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.”
Asking for support
We are advising boaters who are struggling with the cost of living to get in touch with our 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. Our 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.
Boaters can apply for Government support here: Apply for energy bill support if you do not get it automatically - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). Please note the Government will not directly send a link to the page and any such request will be a scam.