BARRHEAD residents are being urged to claim a £400 energy bills grant before it is too late.

Anyone with traditional prepayment meters is eligible for cash vouchers from the UK Government’s Energy Bill Support Scheme.

East Renfrewshire including Barrhead has one of the highest unredeemed rates with 26 per cent of voucher entitlements yet to be claimed.

The vouchers expire on June 30 and energy regulator, Ofgem says levels of unclaimed support is also high across Scotland.

In a final push, the UK Government has been joined by electricity suppliers, consumer groups and charities to call on households with traditional prepayment meters to ensure they receive the full £400 financial support.

Only the five local authorities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverclyde, Renfrewshire and Scottish Borders have a higher unredeemed rate than East Renfrewshire out of Scotland’s 32 councils.

The total estimated value of unredeemed vouchers in East Renfrewshire alone stands at almost £113,000.

Households with aged, prepayment meters that are not digital can obtain the vouchers by post, text or e-mail.

A total of six vouchers can be claimed with each worth either £66 or £67 and they are able to be redeemed at a PayPoint or Post Office.

Any vouchers that are lost or expired can be re-issued to a household if they contact their energy supplier.

Scottish Conservative MSP for Eastwood, Jackson Carlaw has joined the all-party campaign to urge people to take up the voucher offer over the next few weeks.

He added: “The UK Government has redoubled efforts to get this vital financial support for energy bills to local people in East Renfrewshire and across Scotland.

“Whilst it is positive that almost three-quarters of vouchers have been redeemed by local residents, it is a concern that a significant number are still to be cashed in.

“Anyone living locally with a traditional prepayment meter but who is yet to claim their vouchers should do so at the earliest possible opportunity and to avoid missing out on this hugely important financial assistance to help with energy bills.”

The Scottish House Conditions Survey published last month estimated that at least 920,000 homes across Scotland are struggling to pay their gas or electricity bills with 720,000 in extreme fuel poverty.

The survey questioned 90,164 households in Scotland, including 1843 in East Renfrewshire, to reach the figures.