On non-smart prepay for energy? What to do if you didn't get your £66 government help voucher – or if you're struggling to redeem it
If you pay for energy by topping up and you're on a traditional (non-smart) meter, you should've received at least one £66 government energy support voucher by now. Here's what you can do if you haven't got yours – or if you're having problems redeeming it.
Households in England, Scotland and Wales with a domestic electricity account are getting a non-repayable grant of £400 between October 2022 and March 2023. This is being paid as £66 in October and November, then £67 from December to March.
Almost all traditional prepayment meter vouchers have been handed out by suppliers, but almost 850,000 vouchers are still yet to be redeemed. If you've already received your voucher and haven't yet redeemed it, we've got all you need to know on how to below. Similarly if you're still waiting for your voucher, check below for more on what you do next.
If you're struggling to pay for energy, whether you're on prepay or not, see our Energy bill help guide.
Firstly, make sure your supplier has your latest contact details
One reason you might not have got your voucher is that it was sent to an out of date phone number or email address. Here, prevention is better than cure. Make sure your energy supplier has your latest details to minimise the risk of delays with your future vouchers. You should be able to do this in your online account (if you have one) or by contacting your supplier directly.
Not got your voucher, or lost it? Ask your supplier for a new one – they can reissue it
As mentioned above, all eligible prepay users should have received their first £66 voucher by now (and some will be getting their second). These will have been sent from your energy supplier by post, email or text message.
If you haven't got yours, or if you did but have since lost it, contact your energy supplier and it should be able to resend it.
If it was initially sent by post, ask your supplier if it can send it by email or text message instead. The Government says suppliers are required to make all reasonable efforts to ensure you get your discount.
As a last resort if you're not getting anywhere, you can also raise a formal complaint, either directly with your supplier or using the free Resolver tool.
Once you have it, remember that you MUST ACT to redeem the voucher – it's not automatic
Those paying by direct debit, on receipt of a bill or using smart prepayment meters don't have to do anything to get their £400 support payments – the money is either taken off their monthly payment, sent directly to their bank account or applied as credit to their bill or meter.
However, if you have non-smart (traditional) prepayment meters, you need to actively redeem the vouchers you're sent. They should arrive by post, text message or email.
Once you've got a voucher from your energy supplier, you then need to take it to a Post Office or PayPoint shop (click the links to find your nearest) to add it to your gas or electricity top-up key or card. You'll need to do this within three months to avoid the voucher expiring.
Voucher not accepted? Try a different store
If your voucher was issued by PayPoint, you should be able to use it at any PayPoint shop. However, we've seen a handful of reports on social media about some PayPoint shops refusing to process the vouchers.
There are some 28,000 PayPoint shops across the UK, so it would be impossible to investigate these individually. If you're having issues, see if another nearby store will accept the voucher. Alternatively, you can email PayPoint directly at email@example.com.
It's also worth noting that Post Office and PayPoint vouchers are NOT interchangeable – your voucher will say where you can redeem it.
Unfortunately, you won't be able to redeem your voucher in any of the 24,000 Payzone stores and outlets across the UK as they are unable to accept the vouchers.
In most cases, you DON'T need photo ID to redeem the vouchers
MoneySavingExpert.com founder Martin Lewis asked his social media followers if they've claimed their £66 winter energy help vouchers – and, if not, why not? Several replied that they didn't have photo ID, so couldn't redeem the vouchers.
However, all of the suppliers we checked DO accept alternatives to photo ID, as shown in the table below.
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Vouchers expire three months after they're issued – bear this in mind if you're storing them for later
By default, vouchers issued under the scheme are valid for three months. While they can be reissued up to the scheme closing date on 30 June 2023, you'll need to contact your supplier to arrange this. So for ease, you may be better off using your voucher as soon as you get it, so you don't forget and end up losing out.
If you're storing your vouchers to redeem later, for example because you loaded your meter up with credit ahead of the 1 October price rise, bear in mind that most meters can only hold up to around £250 of energy credit at a time – so plan accordingly.
Had problems redeeming your voucher?
Please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Include the energy firm you're with and where you tried to redeem the voucher (for example, the Post Office or a PayPoint shop).