Free Gas & Electric Vouchers (2024)

Last updated: April 18, 2024

You might qualify for a free gas and electricity voucher if you’re battling to meet your energy bill payments and utilise a prepayment meter to pay for your gas and electricity.

The recent announcement of an energy price cap increase means millions nationwide are facing impending fuel poverty, particularly as winter looms. 

Alarmingly, individuals on prepayment meters are often at a higher risk of fuel poverty and typically incur higher costs than those on standard energy tariffs paid via direct debit. 

Consequently, as winter arrives, those reliant on prepayment meters may confront challenging choices and severe hardships in managing their energy expenses.

£49 Fuel Vouchers FAQ

Free Gas & Electricity Vouchers: Eligibility Criteria

If like many households you are concerned about your winter fuel bill, it’s definitely going to be helpful to see if you could be eligible for a free gas and electricity voucher.

Fuel Voucher Eligibility Criteria

In order to qualify for a free energy/fuel voucher you will need to receive a referral from a local specified organisation in your area. This commonly includes food banks, the local council or the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.

The important thing to note is that fuel voucher eligibility can be different depending where you reside in the UK.

Some areas only provide free fuel vouchers to those deemed vulnerable e.g. the elderly, those with children in their care or a specified health condition.

Additionally, like applying for benefits, other councils will only provide them to individuals who pass means testing. That means they will only provide a free fuel voucher to those who meet certain income and savings criteria.

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In summary you will typically need to meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Be in receipt of income-related benefits.
  • Have no cash savings.
  • Have children under your care within the household.
  • Have a certain disability.
  • Be of pension age.

Important: In order to apply and be offered a free fuel voucher, you will need to top up your energy using a prepayment meter. They are not available to households that pay for their energy via direct debit.

How Much Are Fuel Vouchers?

The free fuel vouchers are typically for the amount of £49 or less and the exact amount will largely depend on your individual circumstances and your location.

You will also often notice that the amount provided changes depending on the season, for example, in winter this is usually the full amount, while in summer when heating demands are lower, a lesser amount will be offered.

It also varies depending on your local authority, for example, in Lancashire, the fuel voucher is for £30, while in Manchester the fuel vouchers are the full amount of £49 for families and £30 for single individuals.

How Do You Use The Fuel Voucher?

As the name implies fuel vouchers are vouchers and never provided in cash and are non-transferable.

Typically, the fuel voucher will be in the form of a code that can be sent to you via text, email or post.

In order to use the voucher, you will need to visit your local top up location and present your code, along with proof of address and a form of personal identification e.g. a passport or driving licence.

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Fuel vouchers typically expire if not used within a certain timeframe, usually this is 12 weeks, but it’s always worth double checking.

The voucher can be used on either your gas or electricity, but bear in mind you will need to use the full value of the voucher at once and will not be able to split it up.

What Other Help Is Available?

If you find that you are not entitled to a free fuel voucher, the good news is that there is still help available and services there to support you and your family.

The first step to take for anyone falling into arrears and finding it hard to pay their energy bills is to contact your energy supplier at the earliest opportunity.

Energy suppliers can help you better manage your fuel payments and energy debts and have many options available to them, including:

  • Reducing your energy bill payments.
  • Placing you on a different tariff or prepayment meter plan.
  • Putting you on a designated Priority Services Register, meaning that getting access to future financial support will be quicker and easier.

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In Summary

Facing energy bill challenges is daunting, but with the right knowledge and resources, you can navigate through these tough times. Explore all avenues of support and stay informed about your eligibility for aids like fuel vouchers.

If you are struggling to pay your bills it’s always advised to contact your energy company and make them aware at the earliest opportunity.

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