MARTIN Lewis is urging hard-up households with prepayment meters to redeem an energy bill discount worth £66.
The payment forms part of the £400 energy bills rebate which is due to be paid between now and March 2023.
Martin Lewis warns households with prepayment meters to redeem their vouchers
In his weekly MoneySavingExpert newsletter, he urged anyone with a prepayment metre to check if they have received the help.
The consumer champion also warned households have just three months to redeem the voucher.
The team at MSE said: “Hundreds of thousands of October’s vouchers have yet to be redeemed – you’ve got three months to do it.”
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.
Most customers will have received the discount worth £66 in October, while some can expect to receive it this month.
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.
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.