More than £130m ($162m) of energy bill support for UK energy consumers has gone unclaimed by households using traditional prepayment meters.

Customers on these meters – often some of the most vulnerable – have until 30 June to redeem their £400 ($498) voucher, which was sent out to households last winter. 

Some customers failed to receive their vouchers, with reports of emails going missing and letters sent to old addresses. Other customers have found problems redeeming their vouchers.  

UK energy minister Amanda Solloway said: “We’ve made huge strides in getting nearly £650m from our Energy Bills Support Scheme out to prepayment meter customers, often in the homes that need it most. 

“Today, we are redoubling our efforts to reach anyone who still hasn’t claimed this help and it’s fantastic to see so many join our final push to spread the word. 

“Tell friends and family or anyone on a traditional prepayment meter to use their vouchers for up to £400 off bills before June 30; there is still £130m out there to claim.” 

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The uptake rates have drawn criticism from many. Fuel Bank Foundation head Matthew Cole said: “We’re really concerned that hundreds of thousands of people with traditional prepayment meters are going to miss out on this vital financial support. 

“As part of our own campaigning on this issue, we found that other reasons why vouchers haven’t been redeemed included not receiving them, due to incorrect details or the person having moved house and their records haven’t been updated, or they lost or deleted the voucher. 

“However, whatever the reason, we want to reassure people that if they haven’t claimed their voucher, there is still time to do so.” 

Unfavourable comparisons can be drawn to previous failures of UK energy projects. In March, data revealed that one-third of UK funding for heat pumps and insulation remained unspent while controversies surrounding the forced fitting of prepayment meters continue to swirl.