Nearly 42% vouchers for prepayment customers have yet to be redeemed

Fuel poverty charities have warned about the impact of consumer disconnections

Big Zero Report 2022

Official data has revealed that almost 42% of vouchers for customers on prepayment meters have not been redeemed.

Fuel poverty charities have stressed that this shows how the rising cost of living drives the spate of self-disconnections.

The government has already confirmed that its Energy Price Guarantee scheme will be extended at the higher cap level of £3,000 per year for an average consumer.

However, experts have warned that this support will mean any household with an income below £30,000 would be in fuel poverty.

Peter Smith, Director of Policy and Advocacy at National Energy Action, commented: “Households using older prepayment meters face significant challenges accessing this government support, despite being at acute risk.

“If they cannot afford to top up, they will lose access to energy entirely – self-disconnecting and trying to survive the stark consequences that go with no heat or power in the home.

“These latest statistics are, therefore, very worrying and while we hope that many households who have received these vouchers are still waiting to use them when the weather turns colder, it could be an early indication that those most in need could miss out on this vital support.”

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