The UK Government has confirmed that 83% of its energy vouchers have now been claimed as the scheme approaches its 30 June deadline.
This constitutes a rise of just over 3% from the total of vouchers redeemed at the end of April with £130 million still available to claim over the next month.
Forming part of the Energy Prices Bill, the Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS) vouchers offers consumers in England, Scotland and Wales a £400 discount on their electricity bills to help mitigate the pinch of rising energy prices.
With one month to go before the close of the scheme electricity suppliers, charities and consumer groups have joined forces with the government to create a call to arms for remaining households to claim their vouchers – dubbed ‘Claim Your Energy Voucher Day’.
Notable companies backing the day include: Which?, National Energy Action and Fuel Bank Foundation.
“It’s positive that over 80 per cent of Energy Bills Support Scheme vouchers for traditional prepayment meter customers – who are often on lower incomes – have now been redeemed,” said Emily Seymour, energy editor at Which?.
“However, there are still lots of households that will be missing out on much-needed financial support. We’d strongly encourage anyone who hasn’t yet redeemed their vouchers to do so before 30 June, so they don’t miss out on extra help unnecessarily.
Over the last week, government adverts have been displayed in hundreds of newspaper, bus stops, Post Offices, Job Centres and train station billboards urging people to claim their vouchers if they haven’t done so already.
Prepayment meter users have so far claimed £650 million under the EBSS, bringing the total delivered by the scheme to £11.5 billion.
Earlier this year, Citizens Advice revealed that 3.2 million people were cut off from their energy last year, include vulnerable households that were forced onto prepayment meters after being unable to keep up with rising energy prices.
In response, Ofgem implemented tougher practises for prepayment meter installations to protect the most vulnerable.
“We’ve made huge strides in getting nearly £650 million from our Energy Bills Support Scheme out to prepayment meter customers, often in the homes that need it most,” said minister for energy consumers and affordability, Amanda Solloway.
“Today we are redoubling our efforts to reach anyone who still hasn’t claimed this help, and it’s fantastic to see so many join our final push to spread the word.
“Tell friends and family or anyone on a traditional prepayment meter to use their vouchers for up to £400 off bills before 30 June – there is still £130 million out there to claim.”