Energy UK has joined forces with PayPoint, Post Office and Citizens Advice to help as many people as possible claim Government support towards their energy bills.
The Government’s Energy Bill Support Scheme is a non-repayable discount which entitles all households with a domestic electricity supply to a total of £400 off their energy bills, paid in six installments between October 2022 and March 2023. For customers with credit meters and smart prepayment meters the monthly discount is applied automatically. For customers with traditional prepayment meters, the discount will either be applied as an automatic credit when they top up or they will be sent vouchers by SMS text, email or post, that can be redeemed at Post Offices or PayPoint locations.
Recent figures from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy show that so far 97% of all eligible households (including both credit and prepayment meters) have received the first payment of £66. Whilst around three quarters of vouchers for those on prepayment meters have been redeemed industry, consumer groups and the voucher delivery bodies want to make sure that no one misses out.
Gillian Cooper, Head of Energy Policy for Citizens Advice, said: “At a time when energy bills are extremely high, it’s vital people are getting all the support they’re entitled to. We’re worried that people on prepayment meters – who are at risk of being left in cold, dark homes if they don’t top up – could be missing out on their vouchers.
“If anyone has not received their voucher or isn’t sure how to redeem them, they should contact their energy supplier for support.”
Madeline Costello, Senior Policy Executive at Energy UK, said: “Energy retail suppliers have been working closely with PayPoint and Post Office to make sure that the vouchers are sent on time, including repeat efforts to deliver vouchers to the right people, but we are concerned there is a small population that aren’t receiving the vouchers due to incorrect details, or aren’t claiming them because they are wary of fraud. It’s possible that some people haven’t claimed their vouchers yet because it’s been fairly mild, or they may have already had credit on their account, but as the weather gets colder and people use more energy over the winter holidays, it’s important that customers have the right information as the vouchers will expire after three months.”
Steve O’Neill, Corporate Affairs Director at PayPoint, said: “We’ve seen well over £70m of energy bill support redeemed so far across our network of over 28,000 fantastic retailer partners, but we continue to be focused on making sure that all customers get the support they need with their energy bills this winter. Once you’ve received your voucher, the process is simple, quick and convenient, with stores open early ‘til late, seven days a week and over 99% of the UK population living within one mile of a PayPoint location.”
Andrew Goddard, Head of Payments at Post Office, said: “We are working very closely with the energy industry to share best practice on how to best deliver the EBSS for customers. It’s hard to overstate how big a challenge it is getting almost £100m to customers, who are often some of the most isolated in society, each month. So it’s been crucial for everyone involved to work together to solve shared problems.
“We’ve found that some of the biggest challenges are getting customers to update their contact details so we can get their voucher to them – it’s really important that people tell their energy supplier where to post or email their voucher.
“There’s still over £50m of EBSS unclaimed from October and November – it’s really important that people come forward and bring their voucher to a Post Office so they can get their extra credit, especially as the weather starts to turn colder.”
Five things pre-payment customers should be aware of in claiming Government energy bill support:
- Make sure your details are up to date with your electricity supplier – including name, email address, flat number if appropriate, and address. If vouchers are sent to a generic building, or addressed to a previous tenant they may not be seen, or be able to be claimed.
- Take the right ID with you – you’ll need ID to redeem the vouchers, whether for your own home or if you’re a relative or carer claiming for someone else. The voucher has information about the kind of ID you need to bring.
- Check the expiry date – the vouchers expire after three months from the issue date, so any vouchers issued in October will be expiring soon. Check the date on your vouchers to ensure that you don’t miss out.
- Vouchers are safe to try and redeem – it’s really important to be mindful of fraud, and for people to be aware that they don’t need to sign up to the scheme. However, some people may not be claiming the vouchers as they don’t believe they are real. The vouchers are all tracked electronically so if in doubt – check them with Post Office or PayPoint.
- Don’t expect a cash payment – the EBSS gives you a discount on your electricity bill, so you won’t receive cash when you claim a voucher.
The vouchers can be claimed at PayPoint or Post Office depending on the electricity provider. They will be issued by the 11th working day of the month.
Find the nearest PayPoint here https://consumer.paypoint.com/
Find the nearest Post Office here https://www.postoffice.co.uk/branch-finder