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Millions of renters may miss out on help with energy bills

You report (2 December) that half a million customers are waiting for prepayment vouchers under the energy bills support scheme. A further potentially two million customers know that they will not receive vouchers under the scheme. These customers are tenants in the 497,000 homes with multiple occupancy (HMO), who may not have a contract with an energy company, but instead receive their energy via a landlord-installed prepayment sub-meter.

There is no register of such sub-meters – it is not a legal requirement for getting an HMO licence – and energy suppliers have no statutory obligation to register landlord prepayment sub-meters. So it is impossible to identify these tenants and provide the £400 energy rebate that has been promised to every household.

The government needs to act swiftly to rectify this oversight and get energy rebate payments to low-income households before winter weather forces a choice between eating and heating.
Will Harris
Northampton

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