Households urged to reapply for £67 energy support vouchers as one in five go unredeemed
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Households are being urged to reapply for energy support vouchers before they expire.
PayPoint sent out hundreds of thousands of vouchers at the start of December but it has emerged that one in five households failed to redeem the £67 monthly payment before the vouchers expired.
Only 83% of households redeemed the support in time, but despite the shortfall PayPoint said this was an improvement on previous months, when just 81% of the October and November vouchers were claimed.
The vouchers are part of the Energy Bill Support Scheme (EBSS) announced by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak last May while he was Chancellor, with the scheme to supply £400 to each household in Britain.
All households with a domestic electricity connection in England, Scotland and Wales are eligible for the discount. Those in Northern Ireland will automatically get a £600 payment towards energy bills through the Northern Ireland Energy Bills Support Scheme.
The support was announced when energy bills were only set to rise to around £2,800 for the average British household, but it later became clear that bills would rise even higher and would have hit close to £4,300 for the average household if further government support had not been offered.
PayPoint corporate affairs and marketing director Steve O’Neill said: “EBSS redemptions are still at a level we would expect compared to similar Government schemes, such as the Warm Home Discount.
“However, a recent survey commissioned by PayPoint showed that 15% of people had still never heard of EBSS, which is no doubt contributing to some vouchers going unredeemed.
“If anyone has an unredeemed voucher which has expired, been lost or undelivered, they can ask their energy supplier to reissue it with a new three month validity period.
“While it is very rare for these schemes to hit a 100% redemption level, we must do everything we can to make sure that people across the UK are aware of EBSS or get vouchers reissued if needed.
“For PayPoint and our 28,000 retailer partners, the top priority is simply to see as many people benefit from EBSS as possible.”
How to redeem the vouchers
Households on a traditional prepayment meter will automatically receive energy bill discounts each month as either redeemable vouchers or an automatic credit when topping up. The vouchers will be sent by text, email or post, and electricity suppliers should let customers know in advance how the discount will be issued.
Customers will need to redeem the vouchers at a top-up point, such as at a Post Office or PayPoint show. Payzone outlets do not accept the vouchers. Vouchers will expire after 90 days. If it is not redeemed in time, customers can ask for it to be reissued. All vouchers must be redeemed by 30 June 2023.
Energy suppliers will contact those who have not redeemed their voucher, and some may allow customers to transfer EBSS payments from their electricity meter to their gas meter.