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One in five fail to use November energy vouchers

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

November’s energy bill support vouchers have now expired, as it’s revealed one in five recipients failed to redeem them in time.

As part of the Government’s Energy Bill Support Scheme (EBSS), all households will receive a total of £400 to help with soaring gas and electricity costs.

This is broken down into six monthly payments between October 2022 and March 2023.

It is paid in different ways depending on whether customers have a smart meter, pay by direct debit or top up. See YourMoney.com’s How will you be paid the £400 energy rebate? for more information.

For households with a prepayment meter (topped up with electricity keys or gas cards), they receive discount vouchers in the first week of each month which is valid for 90 days.

According to PayPoint – one of the voucher processors – the vouchers issued in November expired  on 5 February and 81% were redeemed, “consistent with October vouchers at 81%”, it said.

Steve O’Neill, corporate affairs and marketing director at PayPoint, said: “Our 28,000 retailer partners across the UK have once again done a fantastic job in supporting their local communities and delivering this vital support. Final redemptions of over four in five recipients is generally considered a good result for Government voucher schemes, based on others like the Warm Home Discount.”

A PayPoint survey revealed nine in 10 people wait two weeks or less to redeem EBSS vouchers after redeeming them, while eight in 10 wait one week or less. For a quarter of the 2,000 polled, they said they wait less than a day.

Vouchers issued in December expire on 8 March, while those issued in January expire 9 March. To date, 79% and 72% of vouchers respectively have been redeemed.

Raise awareness of energy voucher help

Richard Neudegg, director of regulation at Uswitch, said: “Every effort needs to be made by energy suppliers to make sure prepayment meter customers are aware of these vouchers, and that they need to act promptly to redeem them.

“If you are on a prepayment meter and have received energy support vouchers, check what month they are for and when they expire. December’s vouchers expire on March 8, so make sure you redeem them before then.”

Just last month, the Government published figures showing how many vouchers have been used across energy suppliers as it highlighted which energy firms need to do more to deliver the scheme for prepayment meter customers.