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Government energy support now available to continuous cruisers

People living on boats without home moorings on our navigations will be entitled to payments from the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero from the Energy Bill Support Scheme.

Boats plugged into electric hook-up points

This support will be provided in the form of a single £600 voucher which will be sent out to all continuous cruisers in the coming weeks. The £600 combines the £400 Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding (‘the scheme') and the £200 Alternative Fuel Payment Alternative Fund support, with no need to supply receipts for alternative fuel use.


To be eligible, each boat will need to have held a Canal & River Trust Licence as a continuous cruiser for a minimum of one day between 27 February 2023 (when the scheme launched) and 31 May 2023 (when the scheme closed) inclusive.

The vouchers will be sent via email or via SMS or letter to those customers who do not have an email address registered. To ensure the voucher is issued correctly and can be redeemed by the intended recipient, boaters must ensure that their details such as email, phone number, and postal address, are up to date on our licensing portal by 28 August. More information is available here.

For the past 18 months, we have been in regular contact with the Department and provided GDPR-compliant information about boat licences, types of moorings, boater demographics, and the specific needs of liveaboard boaters on our navigations. Throughout, it has consistently highlighted the need to include liveaboard boaters who do not have a home mooring in the scheme and has helped the Department implement the support by providing confirmation of boat licences where no home mooring is declared. As we can only provide information relating to its navigations, the support is only available to those boaters who hold a Canal & River Trust licence.

Securing support

Matthew Symonds, our national boating manager, said: “After months of talks with the Government, we're delighted that we have been able to secure support with energy bills for those liveaboard boaters who don't have a home mooring. The cost-of-living crisis has been a significant source of stress for many boaters, and extending the energy support scheme, which has already benefitted households across the country, will help ease the load. Our recent Boater Census highlighted some of the challenges people living on boats face when it comes to accessing essential services, and we're committed to making sure boaters receive the same support from government and organisations as those who live on land.”

For further information and scheme updates, please visit the GOV.UK webpage for the scheme by searching “Energy bill support if you do not get it automatically: continuous cruisers” in the GOV.UK search bar. For any queries regarding the scheme, please contact [email protected].

Boaters who are struggling can check the welfare pages on the Canal & River Trust's website or contact their Licence Support Officer for advice.

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Last Edited: 22 August 2023

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