People urged to cash in unused energy bill support vouchers worth £400

31 May 2023, 09:29

People are being urged to make use of their energy support vouchers before the deadline
People are being urged to make use of their energy support vouchers before the deadline. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

Households with traditional prepayment meters have been urged to avoid missing out on £400 worth of help by making sure they have cashed in all their support vouchers by the end of June.

The 'Claim Your Energy Voucher Day' is a final push to encourage remaining households to claim their vouchers before the scheme ends.

The government says that while more than four in five vouchers have been used, £130m is still available.

All households were eligible for the Government's Energy Bills Support Scheme, which paid £400 in six instalments of £66 or £67 over the winter.

However prepayment customers - often some of the most vulnerable - were paid in vouchers and millions remain unclaimed.

Some customers did not receive them, while others have struggled to redeem them.

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Customers need to visit a post office or PayPoint with their Energy Bills Support vouchers and identification before June 30.

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Any lost, missing or expired vouchers can be reissued, as long as they are redeemed by June 30.

Those on a traditional prepayment meter who have not received the vouchers, or are unsure of how to redeem them, or need a voucher to be reissued, should contact their supplier.

Latest figures show the number of vouchers cashed in has reached an all-time high of 83%, with prepayment meter users so far claiming nearly £650 million under the scheme.

The figures, published earlier this month, show that for the sixth month in a row London had the lowest redemption rate, with more than 650,000 vouchers still unused at the end of March.

Around 25% of vouchers in both Scotland and the south-east of England are also yet to be claimed.

Energy minister Amanda Solloway said: "We've made huge strides in getting nearly £650 million from our Energy Bills Support Scheme out to prepayment meter customers, often in the homes that need it most.

"Today we are redoubling our efforts to reach anyone who still hasn't claimed this help, and it's fantastic to see so many join our final push to spread the word.

"Tell friends and family or anyone on a traditional prepayment meter to use their vouchers for up to £400 off bills before June 30 - there is still £130 million out there to claim."

Adam Scorer, chief executive at National Energy Action, said: "We urge anyone who hasn't yet claimed their vouchers to do so before the June 30 deadline and if you have friends and family that may not have used their vouchers, spread the word.

"It may be the support that keeps their lights on, their oven cooking, their hot showers running, through the summer. It's vital money at a time when it's never been needed more."

Matthew Cole, head of Fuel Bank Foundation, the national charity that provides emergency fuel vouchers to prepayment meter customers, said: "We're really concerned that hundreds of thousands of people with traditional prepayment meters are going to miss out on this vital financial support.

"As part of our own campaigning on this issue, we found that other reasons why vouchers haven't been redeemed included not receiving them, due to incorrect details or the person having moved house and their records haven't been updated, or they lost or deleted the voucher.

"However, whatever the reason, we want to reassure people that if they haven't claimed their voucher, there is still time to do so."

Households using prepayment meters who use alternative fuels such as LPG, heating oil or biomass as the main way they heat their homes also have until June 30 to use their vouchers worth up to £200 in energy bills support.

Customers will have received these vouchers in the post from their supplier and should contact them if they have any questions.