Thousands of households with a traditional pre-payment meter have yet to cash in their energy vouchers
According to data released by PayPoint one in five households with traditional pre-payment meters have not cashed in their energy vouchers. The company estimates that 760,000 vouchers, worth approximately £50 million, that were issued during October and November 2022 were not redeemed by the deadline date of Sunday 5 February 2023.
While recent press reports suggest that, when you include the figures for December and January, nearly two million energy support vouchers worth £125m have been either lost, delayed or unclaimed.
The UK Government pledged to give every home with an electricity supply in Britain £400 through its Energy Bills Support Scheme with payments spread over a six-month period from October 2022 to March 2023.
For most households, this amount was simply deducted from their direct debits. However, customers with traditional prepayment meters need to redeem their vouchers at post offices or PayPoint shops.
Crucially, the government has said that customers can contact their energy supplier to have a voucher reissued even if it has expired. The reissued voucher will then be valid for three months from the date it has expired.
It also said that when a voucher is not redeemed, energy suppliers must make at least three attempts to reach the customer, by more than one means which can include post, email, and text message.
The next deadline dates
PayPoint said that so far 79% of customers have redeemed their December vouchers ahead of the deadline date of March 8 2023.
While those who have yet to redeem their January vouchers have until have until April 9 2023.
Age Cymru’s Head of Policy Heather Ferguson says “I would urge anyone who has missed the deadline date to contact their energy supplier as soon as possible to have a new voucher issued. The scheme was introduced to help people cope with some of the most expensive energy bills they have ever faced, so it’s important to take full advantage of this support.
“Many homes with traditional pre-payment meters tend to be amongst those who need to heat their home the most to stay warm and well, so it’s crucial that any available support reaches them as easily as possible.”