Millions in government cash to help with energy bills goes unclaimed by Londoners

File photo dated 08/01/22 of a person holding an energy bill. The number of people who cannot afford their energy bills will double, Citizens Advice chief executive Dame Clare Moriarty said. She told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme: "For most people, on average, we're going to see a �900 increase in people's bills. "Now we know that that's going to be unsustainable for very many people. We estimate that the number of people who simply won't be able to afford their energy bills will double. Issue date: Monday February 27, 2023.
An energy customer holding their bill Credit: PA

A staggering £30m in government cash to help people with the soaring cost of energy has gone unclaimed by people living in London.

The £400 energy vouchers were rolled put under the Government’s Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS) last year and have been sent to customers who top up their electricity meter with a key or card.

Prepayment electricity customers should have received six monthly vouchers for £66 and £67 through the post or by email to claim for energy credit on their key or card.

Figures show Londoners across all 32 boroughs are failing to redeem their vouchers.

The redemption rate in London is less than 50% in many boroughs with some £30m in total so far unclaimed.

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero is working with Post Office to raise awareness about the problem.,

Several community drop-in sessions in conjunction with Citizens Advice Bureau have been set up to help people redeem their energy vouchers.

  • How do I claim my prepayment meter support?

You will either be given an automatic top-up - in which case you should top-up your prepayment as usual - or be given vouchers.

If you get vouchers, you will need to use them at a top-up point, such as a Post Office branch or a PayPoint shop. Your energy supplier should tell you where you can use your vouchers.

You may need photo ID to claim them, so be sure to take a driving licence or passport with you to the top-up point.

Vouchers expire 90 days after being issued.

If you are on a traditional prepayment meter and have not received your vouchers, or are unsure how to redeem them, you should get in touch with your supplier as soon as possible for more information and to make sure they have the correct contact details.

  • What does the government say?

Mr Shapps called on energy companies to "redouble their efforts" to ensure support reaches vulnerable households.

The said: “The help we’ve put in place means we are covering around half of most households’ energy bill this winter – this is an unprecedented level of support.

“With January temperatures having dropped to as low as -10 degrees in some parts of the country, I am pleased to announce today a record numbers of households taking up the government support.

“But many households are yet to redeem the vouchers they are entitled to and I want energy companies to redouble their efforts to get the support to those who need it.”

Check if you can get a fuel voucher here.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know