The Post Office has completed a planned rollout of 500,000 energy vouchers across Northern Ireland, with under a month to go before its intended deadline.
The £600 energy vouchers, issued on behalf of the UK government, are designed to help households with the rising cost of utilities. They are made up of a £400 Energy Bill Support Scheme payment and additional £200 Alternative Fuel Payment.
Eighty percent of the 500,000 vouchers rolled out into post offices have been redeemed by eligible households and the PO is urging anyone who has not yet redeemed their mail-out voucher to do so before the expiry date of 31 March. The firm had intended to finish the rollout by the end of February.
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This follows the initial success of the Post Office hitting half its target of 250,000 vouchers redeemed in just over two weeks.
The Post Office has urged everyone that is receiving a voucher to be extra vigilant of their post and careful not to accidentally throw their voucher away.
Eligible households who have not claimed their vouchers need to bring the correct identification with them, including proof of address, a keypad card and app if they have one, and photo ID if they want cash.
Customers that pay their energy bill via direct debit will have the £600 automatically placed into their bank account.
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Nick Read, Post Office Chief Executive, said: “The success of this rollout demonstrates the significant infrastructure that the Post Office has in place to handle an initiative of this stature alongside the crucial role post offices play within the heart of Northern Ireland’s local communities.
“None of this would have been possible without the commitment from our postmasters and their teams who have been working extremely hard to make sure people redeem their vouchers quickly; and easily deposit their cash straight away while in branches.”
Energy Minister Graham Stuart said: “I’m incredibly grateful to the Post Office and all the energy suppliers for partnering with us in this vital delivery of Government help. The police, voluntary groups and Members of Parliament have all supported us as well. For those that haven’t yet redeemed their voucher I urge them to get down to their local Post Office branch and get the money into their bank account as soon as possible.”
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