Posted: Tue 4th Oct 2022

Call for increased support from the Discretionary Assistance Fund for people who have oil central heating

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Oct 4th, 2022

Citizens Advice has launched a campaign to encourage the Welsh Government to increase the amount of payments awarded via the Discretionary Assistance Fund (DAF) for support with oil due to the rising costs for these fuels.

Approximately 275,000 households in Wales (19%), including 12,000 in Flintshire, are off-grid and rely on other fuels to heat their homes.

DAF offers Emergency Assistance Payment (EAP) grants in Wales to help with the cost of fuel, for households that are experiencing extreme hardship.

The current grant payment for support with oil is £250 and households can only have one payment in a rolling 12 month period.  

Some communities have been able to set up ‘oil clubs’ to help budget the cost of filling an oil tank, but many households don’t have this and their only option is to pay for their oil in full on delivery.

The average cost for oil has risen from 49.16 pence per litre in August 2021, shortly before the £250 grant became available, to 104.42 pence per litre in August 2022.  This is an increase of 112%.

To get a delivery of oil, companies require an order for at least 500 litres, as this is the minimum order quantity set by Trading Standards.

Based on the cost of oil back in August 2021, a minimum delivery would cost £245.80, and would therefore be covered by a DAF payment for oil.

Based on the price of oil in August 2022, a minimum delivery would cost £522.10, and customers would have to find another way of financing the £272.10 extra needed to get a delivery of oil.

Citizens Advice has said that “unfortunately most of the people we help cannot afford to top up the value of their DAF payment which means they are unable to order a delivery of oil, despite being awarded a grant for help with this.”

“Some have to pay the extra amount needed using a credit card or other credit, leading to further debt and poverty.”

A CAB spokesperson said: “We are calling on the Welsh Government to urgently review the £250 grant amount that is currently awarded by DAF for help with oil.”

“We believe that the DAF payment for oil should be increased to cover the minimum amount needed to get a delivery of oil, around £525.”

“We also feel that consideration should be given to the frequency of DAF awards for oil, to allow more than one payment in a rolling 12 month period.”

 

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