Over 14,000 West of England residents using prepayment meters could be missing out on as much as £400 in energy bill support this winter, Metro Mayor Dan Norris has warned.
Discounts on energy bills were due to start on 1 October for all West of England households, with a reduction of £66 or £67 per month between October and March.
Energy companies will apply the discounts automatically, though users of traditional prepayment meters – which usually requires topping up via a key or card in a local newsagent or Post Office – who are generally poorer, must actively claim the discounts.
Vouchers have been sent out to get money off bills – but only half of the expected number have been used so far, according to PayPoint, one firm that processes the vouchers.
There are around 28,350 households in the West on traditional prepayment meters – 5,700 in Bath and NE Somerset, 13,950 in Bristol and 8,600 in South Glos – meaning 14,175 of them could be missing out on cheaper bills this winter, Mayor Norris warned.
Metro Mayor Dan Norris urged West of England residents to get the credit they are owed applied to their meter as soon as possible as he once again called on the Government to end the “unfair penalty premium on prepayment meter users”. He said: “It’s so important that everyone gets the support they’re entitled to this winter, so I would encourage all West of England residents on traditional prepayment meters to take action now. If you haven’t received anything from your supplier, make sure you contact them before these vouchers run out. But I’m afraid it comes as no surprise that thousands of households have not yet redeemed support for their rising energy costs – the Government refused to heed Labour’s warnings about how difficult it would be to ensure prepayment meter customers don’t miss out on support. This is yet another example of how prepayment customers are being let down by a government that is so, so out of touch. They already fork out more for their gas and electricity than those who aren’t – a scandalous state of affairs that should shame ministers. The Government must urgently work with energy companies to promote take-up of the energy discount scheme and end this unfair penalty premium on West of England prepayment meter users once and for all”.
If you use a traditional prepayment meter, you should receive vouchers in the post which can be redeemed where you usually top up. The voucher should arrive from most suppliers by the 17th of each month, and it’s only valid for 90 days. You should get in touch with your supplier now if they haven’t already contacted you about how you’ll be discounted.