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A third of prepay energy vouchers remain unclaimed

Emma Lunn
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Emma Lunn

More than one million households with prepayment meters haven’t redeemed their energy support vouchers for December.

While most energy customers receive money from the Energy Support Scheme as a discount on their bill, households on prepayment meters are sent vouchers each month.

The vouchers are sent by post, text or email, and need to be redeemed at the Post Office or at shops with PayPoint within 90 days.

For October, Paypoint said 80% of the vouchers were redeemed, while that figure was 73% in November.

Just over a quarter of vouchers cashed in

But a BBC report claims that only about 27% of December’s vouchers had been cashed at PayPoint stores by 18 December, despite the recent cold weather.

Steve O’Neill, director of corporate affairs at PayPoint, said: “December vouchers issued by email have already seen high levels of redemption, though December postal voucher redemptions are lower than we would expect, which could be linked to strike action in the UK causing delayed delivery.”

The Post Office also said Royal Mail strikes may have led to delays in customers receiving their vouchers. The Post Office noted that 70% of vouchers had been claimed for October and November by the 19th day of those months, but only 63% had been claimed by 19 December.

Government data published earlier in December shows that hundreds of thousands of people with traditional prepayment energy meters had not redeemed the first two payments of the £400 rebate, due in October and November.

Energy companies and government need to act

Gillian Cooper, head of energy policy at Citizens Advice, said the government and energy suppliers need to fix any issues with people getting the support they’re entitled to.

She said: “People should be able to easily contact their supplier to get the help they need. Energy companies must reissue vouchers that haven’t been received and check customers are getting support in the most suitable format – be it text, post or email.”

If you’re on a traditional prepayment meter and haven’t received your vouchers, you should get in touch with your energy supplier. If you have a smart prepayment meter, the money should be credited directly to your smart prepayment meter in the first week of each month.