From October 1st, all households should have started receiving monthly instalments of a £400 grant to help pay their energy bills. This is part of the Government’s Energy Bills Support Scheme.
The grant is credited automatically to your account (£66 in October and November, and £67 from December to March) if you pay by direct debit or standard credit. But many people with a traditional prepayment meter are missing out amid high bills caused by the increase in the energy price cap.
Energy support vouchers
If you have a non-smart prepayment meter, you will have been told that you’ll receive a voucher in the first week of the month. This is either sent by post or text/email, and you can redeem it in person when topping up.
However, many reports show that the energy support vouchers aren’t being redeemed – the post office says just 60% of those eligible for vouchers have claimed them, reports BBC News (opens in new tab). Similarly, PayPoint has only 53% of 800,000 vouchers have been redeemed in the 28,000 shops where it runs energy top-up facilities.
With inflation at a 40-year high, increased bills, and everyone looking for ways to save energy at home, it seems incredible that the energy support vouchers (which expire after three months) are going unclaimed. However, there are numerous obstacles preventing households from benefiting from the scheme.
When MoneySavingExpert founder Martin Lewis asked on Twitter (opens in new tab), some explained that they hadn’t had any communication from their suppliers and hadn’t received their vouchers due to the Royal Mail strikes. Others hadn’t been able to get hold of their gas company, despite chasing.
Another key issue mentioned was that customers have been asked to bring photo ID, like a driver’s license or passport, meaning those without one couldn’t claim their vouchers. If this is the case for you, a household bill or bank statement dated within 12 months may be accepted.
The Department for Business has told customers to have the credit applied to their meter as soon as possible. There are many barriers to the energy support vouchers but with the second instalment available in November it’s well worth persisting, chasing and tweeting your suppliers so you don’t miss out.
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