Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has urged all households which use prepayment meters to redeem energy bill support vouchers before they expire on 30th June. Figures from Energy Action Scotland have shown that 19% of vouchers issued to households in Orkney and 16% of those issues in Shetland remain unclaimed.
The figures show that vouchers with an estimated total value of £108,240 issued to households in Orkney, and £91,740 in Shetland, have not been redeemed. The vouchers, worth £66 each, expire 90 days after issue, which for most households will be in June. Expired vouchers can be re-issued through the energy supplier, but all vouchers will expire on 30th June when the energy support scheme comes to an end. These energy support vouchers are separate from Alternative Fuel Payment vouchers which also expire by the end of the June.
Mr Carmichael said:
“If you have received an energy support voucher but have yet to cash it then now is the time. While most vouchers have been used already, the figures from Energy Action Scotland suggest that there is still a large amount of support which has not been claimed, and households could be missing out.
“There may be any number of coincidental reasons why vouchers have not been used. Even so we are looking at over one in six going to waste one way or another. Given we all know the isles have some of the highest rates for fuel poverty in the country it is better to check these vouchers than to let them expire.
“The energy support scheme will soon come to an end and any outstanding vouchers will expire. I would encourage everyone who has received energy support payment vouchers to redeem them as soon as possible.”