Households using prepayment meters have been urged to claim bills support vouchers by the end of the month to avoid missing out.
Electricity suppliers, charities and consumer groups are joining forces with a call to arms to make sure households with traditional prepayment meters avoid missing out on £400 worth of help with their bills.
With £130 million of government support left to claim, well recognised names backing the call include Which?, National Energy Action and Fuel Bank Foundation, as the sector comes together in a final push to get remaining households to use their vouchers.
Recent figures show the number of vouchers cashed in has reached an all-time high, with over 83 per cent now used. However, with a month left of the scheme, the Government is renewing its efforts to see as many redeemed as possible.
Over the past weeks government adverts have been landing in hundreds of newspapers, bus stops, Post Offices, train station billboards and elsewhere across the country to let those on prepayment meters know how to claim the support.
Prepayment meter users, who are often in low-income households, have so far claimed nearly £650 million under the Government’s Energy Bills Support Scheme. Direct debit customers received the cash automatically over the winter – bringing the total delivered through the scheme to £11.5 billion.
Minister for Energy Consumers and Affordability 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.
“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.”
Ministers are leading a rallying call for customers to head to a Post Office or PayPoint with their Energy Bills Support vouchers and ID before 30 June, so everyone can get the help available.
Emily Seymour, Which? Energy Editor, said: “It’s positive that over 80 per cent of Energy Bills Support Scheme vouchers for traditional prepayment meter customers – who are often on lower incomes – have now been redeemed.
“However, there are still lots of households that will be missing out on much-needed financial support. We’d strongly encourage anyone who hasn’t yet redeemed their vouchers to do so before 30 June, so they don’t miss out on extra help unnecessarily.
“It’s also important to remember that any lost, missing or expired vouchers can be reissued, as long as they are redeemed by 30 June 2023. If you are on a traditional prepayment meter and haven’t received your vouchers, are unsure of how to redeem them, or need a voucher to be reissued, you should get in touch with your supplier for more information.”
Don’t miss the deadline
The final push in the Government’s multi-billion-pound intervention comes after news that energy costs will fall by £430 per year on average from July, under the Energy Price Cap – marking a major milestone in the Government’s efforts to halve inflation.
Latest figures, published last 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 per cent of vouchers in Scotland and the South East of England are also yet to be claimed.
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 30 June 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.
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