Over half of energy vouchers, issued on behalf of the government to households in Northern Ireland, have now been redeemed, Post Office has revealed on Tuesday.
More than 250,000 vouchers have been redeemed at the post offices to date. The figure comes just over two weeks after the first £600 energy vouchers started arriving through letterboxes.
The Post Office is working with electricity suppliers in organising the mail-out of the vouchers, which is taking place in tranches. The vouchers can only be redeemed at post offices and are being sent to all those who don’t pay their energy bills by direct debit.
The rollout is on course to be completed before the end of February.
“Our postmasters have been working hard within their communities to help people redeem their vouchers quickly. We are pleased with the incredible progress of the voucher rollout with over half of the total vouchers having now been redeemed within just two weeks of starting the mail-outs,” Andrew Goddard, head of payments for the Post Office, said.
“We ask people who are due a voucher to keep a close eye out for it in the post. Please read the voucher very carefully and ensure you take it, plus the forms of ID specified, to ensure the post office teams can process your voucher and you receive your money.”
Energy Minister Graham Stuart added: “In just a matter of weeks since the scheme launched, more than a quarter of a million Northern Ireland households have redeemed their UK Government energy bill support vouchers – providing £600 to help with energy costs.
“Today’s figures from the Post Office show just how quickly the support has arrived with over half of vouchers issued so far used. However, I am urging anyone who has not yet redeemed their voucher to pop to their local Post Office as soon as possible so they can reap the benefits of this support.
“Vouchers are being issued throughout February so all households on Keypad meters should look out for them.”
The voucher is made up of a £400 Energy Bill Support Scheme payment and an additional £200 Alternative Fuel Payment. 500,000 households in Northern Ireland are eligible for the voucher and it is expected post offices will be busier than usual.
For customers who pay for their energy using direct debit the £600 will automatically be placed into their bank account. They will not receive a voucher.