AN EMERGENCY digital cash service is being made available for those who are struggling to pay energy bills.

Created by Sussex-based Zunoma, the Payout and Payout Now service offers a fast-track way for energy providers to help vulnerable customers hit by the rising costs of energy.

Hundreds of thousands of energy customers will be able to get temporary relief funding or receive an alternative cash grant to help with outstanding bills.

The service helped 215,000 people in November and December last year alone and has recently been introduced to help support Ukrainian refugees arriving in the UK.

Phil Ouzman, managing director at Zunoma, said: “The rise in energy prices is affecting people throughout the country and we are proud to partner with the Post Office to offer a quick payment solution to those most vulnerable.

“The Payout and Payout Now services are available to those who need it most.”

The Energy Bill Discount Scheme was put in place to ensure that domestic electricity customers in Great Britain would receive a £200 discount on their energy bill in autumn.

Funded by the government, the discount is sent directly to energy suppliers to pass on to domestic customers from October 2022.

A unique, one-time-use barcode is generated and shared with the customer through their energy supplier.

The discount will be paid back in equal instalments over a period of five years.

People need to contact their energy supplier to discuss the discounts available to them. The supplier will either deduct a dedicated amount from the monthly bill or provide customers with a unique barcode which they can take into one of the 11,500 Post Offices nationwide and collect either an energy bill discount or a cash reimbursement on a top-up key.

Andy Locker, commercial and product manager at the Post Office, said: “We are working closely with multiple energy providers to offer emergency solutions to those who are struggling to pay their bills following the energy price increase.

“We encourage individuals who are struggling to make ends meet to contact their energy provider to determine the best scheme to support you in the short term.”