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Prepayment meter users urged to redeem £400 energy vouchers

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

There has been a slow take-up of prepayment meter customers redeeming the first part of their £400 energy vouchers, the Post Office reveals.

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.

The cash is broken down into tranches over six months to March 2023, with the first £66 available in October.

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.

Vouchers are the only way that people with a prepaid meter (topped up with electricity keys or gas cards) can receive the £400 discount to help with energy bills this winter.

According to the Post Office – the largest voucher processor – just 60% of eligible prepayment meter customers have claimed their £66 voucher for October.

Vouchers only valid for 90 days

And as it is now processing November’s vouchers (£66), it urges anyone who forgot to claim for last month to do so soon as the vouchers are only valid for 90 days.

Around four million households are on energy prepayment meters which supply properties with gas and electricity when they are topped up, with the energy paid for in advance.

These households receive the EBSS voucher by email, text or post which they then need to take to their local Post Office or PayPoint to redeem.

The Post Office, which has started processing over eight million EBSS vouchers, confirmed customers of British Gas, Bulb EDF, E.ON, E.ON Next and Good Energy can claim their vouchers at the Post Office.

Nick Read, chief executive of the Post Office, said: “Through Post Office’s 11,500 strong network, over a million people will be coming through our doors to collect their voucher. We encourage anyone who receives an email or letter telling them to claim their voucher at a Post Office to do so as soon as they can. Our branches are open long hours and many are open on weekends providing a convenient location to redeem the voucher.

“We have also launched a cost-of-living hub on our website which has information about the various financial assistance schemes available to help ensure no one misses out on vital support. The hub also includes information about charities that can help customers who are struggling as we head into the winter months.”

Related: Cost of living help: £400 energy bill discount for all and Moving to an energy prepayment meter: Everything you need to know