Look: vulnerable people who lose help on the cost of living because they are “afraid to open their place”
An expert warned that vulnerable energy customers who use prepayment meters are losing life support for their energy bills because they are “afraid to open their seat” amid the worsening cost-of-living crisis.
Households using prepaid meters pay for energy based on consumption and should have been contacted by their supplier before 1 October to receive the £ 400 energy discount.
The discount should have been automatically added to their accounts or issued in the form of a voucher.
However, it is estimated that £ 25 million in government aid was not requested for prepay people last month.
Appearing Good morning Great Britain On Tuesday morning, Leeds Money Buddy’s Saleem Shafi said the situation for prepay people was “desperate”.
Read more: ‘Immersed in darkness’: the worrying increase in households on consumption energy meters
“They are really struggling, so much they don’t even want to open the mail because they are afraid of the letters they will receive,” Shafi said.
“So we’re going to have, unfortunately, groups of people who are really, really struggling.”
He also warned that some people have not been able to contact their energy suppliers to receive the discount as they cannot afford to buy phone credit.
“At the moment they have no money to warm up or eat,” Shafi said.
“So charging their phones and using their phones to contact suppliers is a real problem.”
Adam Scorer, chief executive of National Energy Action, also expressed concern that vulnerable prepay customers are losing support for their energy bills.
“They may not know the scheme exists, be reluctant to open vendor letters, lose the email, or fail to print the voucher,” he said.
“Having support in place, of course, is vital. Making sure people can access it and that they access it is just as important.”
Recent data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that more than seven out of 10 prepay customers have difficulty paying their bills compared to 40% of standard meter customers.
Read more: People donate £ 400 Energy Support Checks to Food Bank – “That’s Amazing”
It comes as the cost of living crisis continues to deepen across the UK, with inflation hitting a 40-year high of 10.1% and interest rates set to rise again this week.
The government is under increasing pressure to provide additional support to lower-income families, with charities urging the government to deliver on their promise of increasing benefits with inflation.
However, the government refused to commit to this, with Secretary Michael Gove not responding on Sunday three times as to whether the budget increase will go ahead in the budget on November 17.
“We will have some very, very difficult decisions to make in the autumn statement,” he said.
Watch: Shell records £ 8 billion in profit as Brits face skyrocketing bills