HUNDREDS of families in Barnsley are missing out on vital support to help ease the burden of the rising cost-of-living, estimates show.

Coun Peter Fielding, who represents the Dodworth ward, told the Chronicle a resident has been in touch after having difficulty with their pre-payment meter.

It is estimated that nationally over 100,000 households are on old fashioned pre-payment meters have not been able to use their energy support vouchers yet.

These vouchers are the way government is giving the £400 support to those on prepayment meters at £66 per month.

Generally, those families having to use prepayment meters are the most disadvantaged and therefore most in need of this help but between 500 and 1,000 such families in Barnsley are thought to be missing out on this help.

There are various reasons why this is the case such as the vouchers being sent to the wrong email address or telephone number customers need to make sure that their contact details held by their energy provider are correct.

Coun Fielding said: “I am urging all those who have not been able to use their pre-payment vouchers to contact their energy provider to make sure they get them in the first place and then get advice on how to use them.

“I am also asking anyone who knows of a friend, neighbour or relative in this position to advise and support them in doing this.

“If you are a private landlord, it is in your interest as well to make sure your tenants are getting the help they deserve.

“Being able to use these vouchers will mean vulnerable residents will be able to keep a little warmer this winter so we need to get this message out there.”