Community News

Bristol households on prepayment meters urged to check for energy support vouchers

Over £22 million of government support nationwide left unclaimed

Bristol households on prepayment meters are being urged to check for their energy bill support vouchers before a June 30 deadline.

The announcement by by Metro Mayor Dan Norris comes after figures showed millions of pounds in government support remains unclaimed.

The £400 Energy Bill Support Scheme was a universal discount paid to households in £66 and £67 instalments until March 31.

Most households in the West of England pay bills by direct debit and they received their payments as credit – but prepayment meter customers got their support by voucher.

Those on prepayment meters in Bristol should have received a total of six vouchers (two £66 vouchers and four £67 vouchers) with a combined value of £400. This would have been sent by text, email or post – and had to be taken to a Post Office to be credited to their meter.

But new figures show 341,000 vouchers nationwide – totalling more than £22 million – have yet to be cashed – with the Metro Mayor warning this could mean “thousands in the West of England missing out on the support they are fully entitled to.  According to Citizens Advice, the main reason for people not cashing an energy voucher is because they never received it.

Households have 90 days to spend their vouchers and if any expire, replacements can be requested until June 30 – with Mr Norrisa urging residents who have not received their vouchers – or have not cashed it in – to contact their energy supplier as soon as possible. 

He said: It is vital that Bristol prepayment households access the support they need to keep their energy bills down. I urge residents yet to cash in on vital savings of up to £400 on their bills to please, please contact their supplier and ask for a new voucher today. They will be valid for another 90 days.”

Mayor Norris said while it was crucial prepayment meter customers redeem their vouchers by the end of June deadline, he would continue urging ministers to act to protect prepayment meter customers, having previously warned that the voucher scheme would result in thousands in his region missing out on support. 

He added: The government has been warned time and time again that too many households on prepayment meters are not getting the energy bills support they need – and deserve…

“It’s not too late, though. With the cost of living spiralling, it is vital government ensure no Bristol prepayment customer misses out on support which will make a real difference in these very difficult times.”

Households in Bristol having difficulties with their energy supplier should contact Citizens Advice Bristol on 0808 278 7957 or visit: https://www.bristolcab.org.uk/