Households urged to reapply as one in five energy vouchers go unredeemed
People were urged to reapply for energy support vouchers on Thursday as it emerged that one in five households did not redeem their £67 December vouchers before they expired.
PayPoint sent out hundreds of thousands of vouchers at the start of December as part of a Government-backed scheme to help people with their rising energy bills.
But it revealed on Thursday that only 83% of households redeemed these vouchers before they expired a week ago.
Yet despite the shortfall this was an improvement on the previous months. PayPoint said that 81% of the October and November vouchers were redeemed before they expired.
The vouchers are part of the Energy Bill Support Scheme (EBSS) which was announced by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak last May when he was chancellor.
The scheme was set to supply £400 to each household in Britain but it was announced when bills were only set to rise to around £2,800 for the average British household.
Later it became clear that bills would rise even further and would have hit close to £4,300 for the average household had the Government not stepped in with more support.
PayPoint corporate affairs and marketing director Steve O’Neill said: “EBSS redemptions are still at a level we would expect compared to similar Government schemes, such as the Warm Home Discount.
“However, a recent survey commissioned by PayPoint showed that 15% of people had still never heard of EBSS, which is no doubt contributing to some vouchers going unredeemed.
“If anyone has an unredeemed voucher which has expired, been lost or undelivered, they can ask their energy supplier to reissue it with a new three month validity period.
“While it is very rare for these schemes to hit a 100% redemption level, we must do everything we can to make sure that people across the UK are aware of EBSS or get vouchers reissued if needed.
“For PayPoint and our 28,000 retailer partners, the top priority is simply to see as many people benefit from EBSS as possible.”