Prepayment meter users urged to claim £160m in energy help vouchers
Of £780m set aside for those with a prepayment meter, £160m has yet to be claimed.
Those who are yet to claim the money can save up to £400 off annual energy bills. But they must do so before the scheme ends on 30 June.
The money is being given out as part of the Energy Bill Support Scheme (EBSS) to help households with soaring energy bills.
It was paid out in tranches of £66 over the six months to March 2023 and payments were made in different ways, depending on how customers pay. Our article, how will you be paid the £400 rebate, explains exactly how the money was distributed.
For those with a prepayment meter, the £400 was paid via vouchers sent by energy providers by email, text or post and valid for 90 days. However, customers can also contact their supplier to ask for a voucher to be reissued if it has expired.
The voucher then needs to be redeemed at either a local Post Office or Pay Point.
Yet millions are still to be claimed. In total, £780m in vouchers have been sent to households, but £620m has been redeemed, leaving £160m yet to be claimed.
These figures include all vouchers issued by providers and redeemed up to 1 April.
Households who use alternative fuel sources, such as heating oil or biomass, are also being urged to apply for help with their energy bills. The schemes for these customers will end on 31 May, leaving them with just over a month to claim.
The warning comes as new rules were introduced last week by the regulator for energy providers over involuntary prepayment meter installations. They come following a series of scandals relating to providers installing these meters into the homes of vulnerable people.
‘We’re urging people not to miss out on this vital support’
Minister for energy consumers and affordability, Amanda Solloway, said: “The Government stepped in to provide vital support to households across the country, with £780m in support delivered to prepayment meter customers. But there’s still £160m of that yet to claim which will make a huge difference.
“Even as the warmer weather sets in I urge anyone on a traditional prepayment meter to act now if they haven’t redeemed their voucher.”
Nick Read, chief executive of the Post Office, said: “We’re urging people not to miss out on this vital support from the Government before the Energy Bills Support Scheme closes at the end of June.
“Claiming your voucher at the Post Office is really simple, just bring your voucher, your energy prepayment key or card and the ID specified in your voucher letter and we will redeem the voucher for you at the counter.
“It’s important to check any post you have at home to ensure you haven’t missed any vouchers. They are valid for three months but if you have expired vouchers you should contact your electricity supplier and ask for a new one to be sent out.”