It was reported recently nearly half of those eligible to receive the £400 energy support vouchers in England, Scotland, and Wales have not redeemed their vouchers. Many of these households are customers with prepayment meters
The Energy Bill Support scheme went live on the 1st October 2022 and now, a month later, households will begin to receive the first installment from the government.
The scheme supports every household in the UK
How to claim your £400 Energy Support Voucher
Prepayment Meter Customers
Traditional prepayment meter customers will be provided with Energy Bill discount vouchers from the first week of each month, issued via SMS text, email or post, using the customer’s registered contact details.
Once you have received your voucher, it can be redeemed at your usual top-up point, which is usually your nearest local PayPoint or Post Office.
When redeeming your vouchers, it is important to bring the following items with you to ensure the voucher can be claimed.
- Photo Identification
- A document with your name and address on it (council tax bill, bank statement)
If you haven’t received your vouchers, then it is important that you get in touch with your energy provider. It may be that they have incorrect contact details for you and that you need to update these with them. This of course can be stressful as the phone lines are often very busy. The best times to call your energy company are first thing in the morning as soon as they open. Traditionally this is a quieter time.
Please note that British Gas put your voucher directly into the Pay as you go meter.
Credit Card, Debit Card or Direct Debit Customers
Households who pay their domestic energy via standard credit, payment card and direct debit will receive an automatic deduction to their bills over the 6-month period – totaling £400.
Energy customers in Northern Ireland
The Energy Bills Support Scheme will give a £400 non-repayable discount to eligible households to help with their electricity bills over winter 2022/23.
Details of how this is distributed are not yet available, but it is likely that customers do not need to take any action to receive this support and that it will be automatically discounted from your electricity bill.
Be mindful of potential scams
No matter how you pay for your electricity, it is important to note that you will never be asked for your bank details for your energy support vouchers. These savings are administered directly from the energy supplier as noted above.
Stay alert to being asked for your bank details and report any potential scams to the relevant authorities.
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How much will I save per month?
The Energy Support Vouchers will provide every household in the UK, £66 a month in October and November and £67 each month from December through to March 2023.
What if I move home?
The energy support vouchers are provided on a monthly basis, so your energy provider will be applying the discount to each bill. It should not affect you if you move home during the support period.
How long do the energy support vouchers last?
For those on prepayment meters who expect to receive a voucher, the energy support vouchers should arrive around the 17th of each month and they are valid for redemption for 90 days. It’s important that once you receive these, you take action to add them to your account. Only then will you receive the discount noted.
Is the energy price guarantee the same thing as the energy support vouchers?
It’s important to note that these are not the same thing and that the UK government through the energy price guarantee is reducing the unit cost of electricity and gas from 1 October 2022 until 31 March 2023.
The Energy Price Guarantee will limit the amount you can be charged per unit of gas or electricity. Your exact bill will depend on how much energy you use.
You do not need to apply and there’s no need to contact your energy supplier.
Your energy supplier will cut your bills by a unit price of up to 17p/kWh for electricity and 4.2p/kWh for natural gas.
For prepayment meter customers in Northern Ireland, the Energy Price Guarantee will be applied to the rate you pay for each unit of energy at the same rate as for all other customers.
This is 17p/kWh for electricity and 4.2p/kWh for gas, so the money you put on the meter will last longer than would have been the case this winter.
This winter there are 2 unique forms of support for households.
First is the £400 discount on energy costs. This comes in the form of discounts directly from your energy supplier totaling £66-67 a month over the next 6 months.
Secondly, the energy price guarantee will reduce bills by almost a third across both gas and electricity costs.
If you are a prepayment meter customer, it is important that you take action to claim your energy support vouchers and have them added to your account. Otherwise, they will go unclaimed.
This winter will be financially tough for many across the country. Check out our tips on how to save money here.