Households urged to redeem their energy vouchers as £6.6m of support goes unclaimed in the Liverpool City Region
Thousands of households have been urged to redeem uncashed energy vouchers as £6.6m of support goes unclaimed in the Liverpool City Region. More than 50,000 vouchers issued by the Government to households with pre-payment meters to help pay bills in October and November have still not been cashed in.
The £66 vouchers are valid for 90 days but have now expired – though customers can get them re-issued by contacting their energy supplier. Many are thought to be missing out due to social and economic vulnerability, including language barriers, and because suppliers do not have up-to-date contact details.
Deputy Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region and Leader of Wirral Council, Councillor Janette Williamson, said:
“Some of the most vulnerable households in Liverpool City Region are not receiving any help with their energy bills. Many of us have seen the credits automatically offset against our monthly charges but those on pre-payment meters must take steps to access their entitlement.
“This places a bureaucratic burden on some of the most vulnerable people in our communities. It is vital that we do as much as we can to encourage take-up and our voluntary support agencies are working hard to make sure that no-one loses out.”
The £400 energy discounts are part of the government’s Energy Bills Support Scheme to help UK households with their energy bills this winter.
The support is paid in instalments: £66 in October and November, and then £67 every month until March.
Nationally, a third of energy vouchers from the Government – totalling around £50m – have been left unclaimed.
In Liverpool City Region, only 108,030 of the 158,300 vouchers issued have been redeemed – leaving one third unused.
Those who pay by direct debit, on receipt of bill, or have a smart prepayment meter should be receiving the money automatically.
However, those with traditional prepayment meters – the type which have a key or card that needs to be topped up at a shop or Post Office – get their rebate in the form of monthly vouchers, which then need to be redeemed in the same way.
The vouchers were sent with a 90-day expiry date, so the tranche sent in November ran out on Sunday, February 5.
For more information and advice on how to redeem the vouchers go to the CA website.
To get help from Citizens Advice go to the website: https://www.citizensadviceliverpool.org.uk/energy-advice or call the freephone recorded information line on 0800 170 0235.
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