Post Office supports millions facing rising cost of living to claim Energy Bill Support Scheme vouchers and fulfil increasing demand for cash

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Post Office branches have started processing over eight million Energy Bill Support Scheme (EBSS) vouchers, the £400 government energy discount. Customers of British Gas, Bulb EDF, E.ON, E.ON Next and Good Energy can claim their vouchers at the Post Office. To date, 60% of vouchers issued in October have been claimed but as the weather begins to get colder, Post Office wants to ensure customers know how they can claim their additional £66 of energy credit for October as November’s vouchers start being issued. Customers may be concerned about opening a bill or being subject to a scam but staff in their local Post Office can help.

Vouchers are the only way that people with a prepaid meter (topped up with electricity keys or gas cards) can receive the £400 discount to help with energy bills this winter as part of a support scheme first announced by the Government in April 2022. Post Office is also working with a number of charities to help get emergency funds out to people who need extra support.

Millions of people across the UK rely on cash to budget and pay their bills, and Post Office data shows many more are turning to budgeting with cash in light of cost of living increases. Post Office data found that 35% of people are now cutting back on essential utilities spending as the cost of energy continues to increase. Data released by energy regulator Ofgem this month also revealed that around 7 in 10 (72%) of people who paid by prepayment (“top up”) for their energy bills reported difficulty affording it, while Uswitch has highlighted the increasing numbers of people on prepayment meters in the six months to March, the first increase since 2019.

In addition, Post Office data shows almost one in five people are using cash to help with budgeting in light of the cost of living crisis.[1] In August, Post Offices handled record-breaking amounts of cash (£3.45bn) withdrawals and deposits, the first time the amount exceeded £3.4bn in one month, and also a record £805m of withdrawals. Additionally, 16% of cash withdrawals from January to September 2022 were ‘to the penny’, for instance a withdrawal of £5.90 or £7.30, particularly important for customers using strict budgeting to manage their daily finances.

To support consumers with the rising cost of living, Post Office has launched a cost of living hub on its website, which details the financial support available such as the Warm Home Discount, Winter Fuel Payments and Cold Weather Payments. The website also lists charities, such as Citizens Advice, who can provide more specific support on managing household bills. Visit for more info.

With over 11,500 branches, Post Office has the biggest retail network in the UK and is well placed to support local communities access financial support schemes, such as the EBSS as well as using cash to budget or pay their bills in person.

Nick Read, Chief Executive of the Post Office, said:

“Post Office branches play a vital role in communities by ensuring people can access government financial support, such as the Energy Bill Support Scheme (EBSS) vouchers and withdraw the exact cash they need to help them budget. Through Post Office’s 11,500 strong network, over a million people will be coming through our doors to collect their voucher. We encourage anyone who receives an email or letter telling them to claim their voucher at a Post Office to do so as soon as they can. Our branches are open long hours and many are open on weekends providing a convenient location to redeem the voucher.

“We have also launched a cost of living hub on our website which has information about the various financial assistance schemes available to help ensure no one misses out on vital support. The hub also includes information about charities that can help customers who are struggling as we head into the winter months.”

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