MILLIONS of prepayment meter customers will receive an energy bill discount worth £66 this month.
The payment forms part of the £400 energy bills rebate which is due to be paid between October and March 2023.
The type of prepayment meter you have will affect how your get the discount
The way in which the discount is paid will depend on the type of prepayment meter you are on.
There’s two types of prepayment meters. Traditional or “legacy” prepayment meters need to be topped up using a card or key fob which you can add cash to at local PayPoint kiosks.
Whereas, smart prepayment meters can be topped-up at home over an app or online.
Each energy supplier also has the freedom to decide how it will apply the discount on to your energy meter.
Some energy firms will only apply the discount on to electricity meters while others will split the discount equally across your gas and electricity meter.
Customers will get a discount worth £66 in October and November.
A £67 discount will then be provided every month between December and March 2023.
Customers that pay their bills by direct debit, on receipt of bills or through a smart prepayment meter will not need to do anything to receive the discount.
Energy firms will automatically apply the discount for these customers – whether that’s through their bills or directly on to their smart prepayment meters.
However, those on older, traditional prepayment meters will not be able to receive the discount directly.
These customers will need to collect and redeem a discount voucher to take advantage of the £400 energy discount.
The vouchers will remain valid for 90 days and will no longer be redeemable after their expiry date.
We’ve listed how each energy plans to pay their prepayment meter customers the rebate and when traditional prepayment meter customers should expect to receive the discount.
If you have a smart prepayment meter the energy bill discount will be automatically applied to your electricity meter.
The credit will show on your electricity meter by the fifth working day on the month.
British Gas has said that if it can’t apply the discount to your meter, it will send you a physical voucher in the post – which you can redeem at your local post office.
If you have a traditional prepayment meter, you’ll receive a discount voucher in the post by the eleventh working day of each month.
Customers will then need to redeem the value of the voucher at their local Post Office where they top up their electricity key.
Some customers may also receive the voucher via text or email. This will contain a barcode which can be scanned at their local Post Office to redeem the value of the discount.
Smart prepayment meter customers will have the discount credited to their electricity account within the first 10 days of each month.
Customers on a traditional prepayment meter will receive a discount voucher via email or in the post within the first 10 days of each month – redeemed at Post Office branches.
E.ON and E.ON Next
If you’re on a smart prepayment meter, the discount will be automatically credited to your electricity meter in the first week of each month of delivery.
The value of the voucher will be evenly split between your gas and electricity meters.
If you’re on a traditional prepayment meter, you’ll be given a redeemable energy bill discount voucher or special action message (SAMs) in the first week of each month, issued via SMS text, email or post.
The vouchers can then be redeemed at local Post Office branches.
If you’re on a smart prepayment meter, the discount will be automatically credited to your electricity meter in the first two weeks of each month.
If you’re on a traditional prepayment meter you’ll receive a Post Office voucher within the first two weeks of each month to redeem when you top-up.
EDF has explicitly said that if your energy account is in debt, the discount will help to clear this first.
If you’re on a smart prepayment meter with dual fuel, each monthly payment will be split across your electricity and gas meters within the first week of each month.
Octopus Energy will send customers with traditional prepayment meters vouchers that you can redeem as top-up credit at their local Post Office branch within the first week of each month.
Ovo Energy (Boost and SSE)
Smart prepayment meter customers will see the discount added straight to their electricity smart meter as a credit in the first week of each month.
If you have a traditional prepayment meter Ovo Energy will send a voucher in the post within 11 working days of the first day of each month.
Customers can use each voucher at a PayPoint shop to top up their electric or gas meters, or both.
In the first week of each month, smart prepayment customers will have the discount credited to their electricity meter.
Traditional prepayment meter customers will receive a voucher in the first two weeks of each month.
Customers will need to take these vouchers to their nearest PayPoint outlet to have the value added to their electricity and gas meter.
If you’re on a smart prepayment meter with dual fuel, each monthly payment will be split equally across your electricity and gas meters.
You’ll receive the payment on your smart meter in the first five working days of each month.
In the event that your smart meter has stopped communicating with Shell Energy, they may send you a code by email or SMS. You can then enter this code to top up your meter.
If you’re on a traditional prepayment meter, you’ll receive a voucher by post, which you can redeem at any PayPoint, Payzone, or Post Office branch.
If you prefer, you can ask the shop assistant to split the discount between your electricity and gas meters.
Vouchers will be issued within 11 working days from the start of each month.
If you have a smart meter, Utilita will automatically add the energy bills rebate as credit to your electricity meter every month.
If you don’t have a smart meter, you’ll receive energy credit vouchers for you to redeem in PayPoint shops.
These will be issued from the first week of each month.
Customers on a smart prepayment meter will see the payments sent remotely to their electricity meter at the beginning each month.
Utility Warehouse will confirm when the payments have been made.
If you’re on a traditional prepayment meter, you’ll receive a voucher by post, which you can redeem at any PayPoint counter within the first 11 working days of each month.
What prepayment meter help is on offer?
If you’re on a prepayment meter you might be able to get a one-off voucher to top up.
The fuel voucher scheme comes via the Fuel Bank Foundation charity, and it’s offered through a range of organisations, like food banks and Citizens Advice.
The best place to start to find somewhere which can offer you a fuel voucher is by asking your local council – you can find yours via gov.uk by searching your postcode.
The voucher should help you cover around two weeks worth of electricity use.
Some energy companies may also issue their own vouchers, so ask your supplier directly.
Energy companies usually offer emergency credit, though you will have to pay this back.
How much you get and how it’s applied will depend on who your supplier is.
It might be added to your meter when you fall below a certain amount or you might have to ask for it.
You might get extra if you are vulnerable, for example if you have a health condition or are over state pension age.
You’ll have to repay the cash next time you top up, but you can speak to your supplier about how much you’ll pay back and over what time.
What energy bill help is coming?
In November, a £300 one-off “Pensioner Cost of Living Payment” will be paid out to eight million households.
A further £324 Cost of Living Support Payment will be due to millions on Universal Credit.
It will be given to those who already get the winter fuel payment – which is worth between £100 and £300 for those over state pension age.
Millions of households are in line to get the £150 Warm Home Discount between December and March 2023.