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Have you redeemed your Energy Support Scheme vouchers?
New reports state many customers on prepayment energy meters have not yet redeemed the £400 vouchers to help with their energy bills. From October 1st, the £400, given in installments over 6 months, started to be given to people across the UK.
This is part of the government’s Energy Bills Support Scheme, announced in May. However, many customers with prepayment meters have not yet redeemed the help. The government are using all customers to use the credit as soon as possible, as they are valid for just 90 days.
This comes after one payment company said it had only redeemed half of the credit it expected to in October. Other money saving websites have suggested there have been delays in receiving the vouchers. This could give reason as to why people may not have redeemed the vouchers.
The BBC suggest the milder weather may be playing a role. This is due to people wanting to hold off on using the vouchers until chillier days kick in.
For those who use direct debits to pay their energy bills, the discount will be applied automatically by their energy providers. For those on pre-payment meters who need to top up their accounts via a key or card, the help comes in the form of a voucher. More than four million people have a pre-payment meter.
PayPoint, a payment company which allows people to top up their cards, keys or pay bills in local shops has said it expected to process 800,000 vouchers in October, worth a staggering £52.8 million. They are now urging people to go through their post in case they missed the delivery of the vouchers.
If you have a fixed monthly direct debit, your provider may deduct the amount from each monthly bill. However, you may be able to arrange with them to pay an amount you want. This may help you build up credit for the winter months. Some providers may refund the monthly back monthly, when you have paid your bill.
Some suppliers are knocking the money off your bill if you pay for what you use every month. They may add the Energy Support Scheme vouchers to your account as credit. This means you pay less at the end of the month.
Those with a traditional prepayment meter, which require top-ups at shops, will receive their vouchers in the post. This should arrive by the 17th of each month. If you have a smart prepayment meter, suppliers will automatically add credit to your meter. This is usually done in the first week of each month.