What to do with the large sums of Energy Voucher Value not redeemed?

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  • WilliamColwell1's Avatar
    Level 5
    This question is as much a post policy question to Eon Policy and to Government...
    There's been a staggering April headline figure highlighting the value of unclaimed vouchers awaiting cashing. "More than £780million in support scheme money has been delivered to customers on traditional prepayment meters, with nearly 80 per cent redeemed"
    My problems with voucher cashing, follows on from issues I describe on this thread... "The 21stC options for my 5/6 unused vouchers?". My own excess vouchers and those of the 2 other people I know have not claimed these for very different reasons. With just 3 energy customers I know, there is over £1000 value locked in amidst that unused 20%.
    To serve our community and common interest best, what can we each choose to do with that considerable sum of stored value issued (and unredeemed)?
    I have ideas as I am sure many others also.
    All I/we need to find first is, given the original aim of the scheme, what is it that Government Policy directs to be the final beneficiary/ purpose for this vast unredeemed value... value approaching as much as £200 million.
    As I say I have ideas. Does Eon have some direction on this?
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    Anasa_EONNext's Avatar
    Community Manager
    Best Answer
    Hello @WilliamColwell1 Anasa here 👋 It's great to have you hear!

    It's a great question. I can imagine there are lots of unused vouchers for various reasons such as being away and missing the deadline or no longer living at the property but house still 'in use' Maybe due to health and not being at the property for a while... but I can't say I've come across any customers who have stored up their vouchers and not used them. Most customers that have had them have popped the vouchers onto the meter as there where not restrictions on the amount of money that could be added to the meter when it came to the vouchers.

    I'd be interested to know what your reason is for not using your vouchers? 🤔
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  • WilliamColwell1's Avatar
    Level 5
    Many thanks Anasa.

    I can offer a number of quite different reasons for my voucher excess that have nothing to do with storing my vouchers; I think, as I would of course, those are worth noting at the national Energy Policy level.

    My vouchers excess has arisen on account of administrative failings of the Voucher scheme system (a valued but rushed experiment) that was to meet limitations presented by our traditional key meters... also, part-prompted by International Economic events in 2022 times of crisis and, further tempered by my own personal domestic energy behaviours... all contributed to what might appear my saving of vouchers.
    In progressive environmental terms, I tend to consider that 'the greenest energy' is not from the wretched sophistries of most of our 'Green Energy Source' technologies, but the energy we no longer require to consume in our own households (because we seek to use less) and consume less of the products we purchase.
    In the detail of the System...
    1. The 2022 Voucher scheme was rolled on the basis of a monopoly with and for the Post Office. The PO is an organization that is now a shadow of what it once was. In my experience with the Vouchers, the PO had serious staffing issues... reducing outlet issues and also technology issues, that rendered it incompetent... not fit for the monopolistic purpose of deploying this valuable Scheme. The Post Office desperately needs fixing.
    2. Our key to meter systems actually have an in-built capacity (that was previously unknown to me and perhaps most key system users) and so proved incapable of taking the value of the vouchers I had to redeem. There is a limit. I imagine smart meters will correct that when they get around to installing them.
    3. There is a further Voucher Scheme design issue. No reference was made of alternative energy sources in homes. All my thousands of neighbours are on District Heating and a considerable proportion of energy usage would be accounted for with this... in both keeping homes warm and with the availability of instant hot water. This source was not a part of the energy voucher mix (as far as I could see).
    4. Finally, I value my electricity supply and know how much I use. I may not fit the profile of a single person household; I use it with caution and much of my washing and cooking happens, not at home but elsewhere.

    Eon Next kindly sorted my excess voucher problem with a cheque of the precise amount remaining on my voucher account (ie £200.00): I finally managed to bank this on Fridy.

    Added to my own experiences, I reported on two others I know. They may not be with Eon Next as their providers, but I suspect circumstances such as theirs will arise with Eon also. They have not been able to use any of their issued vouchers. They both have mental health difficulties and apparently, for different reasons, could not deal with the added complication of the voucher redemption in their routines. Nor would these two different households accept help from either their carers or myself. In such instances, where does their voucher value go? Is the system geared up for accountability and that unexpected 'non-take-up' of the voucher scheme due to incapacity for many reasons.

    I asked the question above because I was interested in what ideas other people had as to how they might like to have the value inherent in their excess vouchers invested in their and their families futures. I have my own idea that I am happy to share but I was interested first in what others thought.

    Kind regards Bill.
  • WilliamColwell1's Avatar
    Level 5
    Apologies longer than I expected but complicated experience worth reporting.
  • WilliamColwell1's Avatar
    Level 5
    I'm travelling a the moment. As I said in my original post here... I think it is more a question to the Government Policy people. Nevertheless it is relevant I think that eon know of the wider challenges that actually present themselves as the vouchers are deployed and also to report them back to the energy policymakers. Many thanks.
  • Anasa_EONNext's Avatar
    Community Manager
    Thank you @WilliamColwell1 for popping back with so much detail! It's a really interesting read and some really good points raised and I'll pass this all on as feed back to the team to ensure we make any improvements if something like this happens again. I'm super pleased that we were able to get a cheque sent out to you. We really do appreciate your journey and how we can improve things and just asking the all important questions - safe travels and hope to see you around on the forum once you get back! ✈
  • WilliamColwell1's Avatar
    Level 5
    Thanks Anasa and thanks for considering passing some of my points on. Best wishes Bill