Government energy support vouchers not used in ‘worrying’ trend | Personal Finance | Finance

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They expired on Sunday, though, and by that point, only 81 per cent of the vouchers issued had been redeemed.

That means thousands of households haven’t received the government support they were entitled to. PayPoint said that October’s redemption rate was similar.

The trend has been described as “deeply worrying” by consumer watchdog Which?.

Rocio Concha, Which? Director of Policy and Advocacy, told “It is deeply worrying that PayPoint and Post Office have reported that almost a fifth of vouchers issued to prepayment meter customers in November were not redeemed before expiring – particularly given the freezing temperatures we’ve seen this winter.

“As an urgent priority, the government and energy suppliers must work together to share best practice and quickly improve the scheme to ensure that all customers on prepayment meters – who are more likely to be vulnerable and on lower incomes – are able to access this vital support without further delay. The government should also set out a clear process for the reissuing of any expired or lost vouchers to ensure this works well for customers.

“Traditional prepayment meter customers should also be prioritised in smart meter roll-outs where appropriate, so that financial support can be delivered automatically in future. If you are on a traditional prepayment meter and haven’t received your vouchers or are unsure of how to redeem them, you should get in touch with your supplier as soon as possible for more information and to make sure they have the correct contact details.”

Customers who didn’t redeem October and November’s vouchers will be out of pocket by £132.

All energy customers are getting £400 worth of help with their bills this winter, paid in six instalments between October 2022 and March 2023. Customers paying by direct debit, or who have smart meters, get the payments automatically. But those with traditional prepayment meters have to take action to add the money to their account.

But in January, it emerged 29 per cent of traditional prepayment meter customers hadn’t received their payments.

The vouchers are part of a government scheme to support households with the cost of energy this winter. You get them automatically; you don’t need to apply. So far, you should have had four:

  • £66 in October and November
  • £67 in December and January

You should have received them by the 17th of each month.

Author: Dhanraj7978

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