Free Energy Advice
Hundreds of thousands are not taking advantage of free help with their energy bills. The survey commissioned by Home Heat Helpline shows that many households in each region are missing out because they think assistance is not meant for "people like me".
While across the country around 5.2 million homes are failing to claim reduced tariffs and free insulation grants from their energy companies. Only 12% of people have used the Home Heat Helpline free advice service, despite the fact that it could help them save £260 a year on their energy bills.
The research published by the New Policy Institute (NPI) shows that 70% of homeowners think that if you need help you should claim it, but they didn't think the free service was intended for them. Around 47% of those surveyed who had not claimed thought that the assistance on offer was not meant for "people like me".
The research also shows that people under the age of 70 receiving social security benefits, which includes those most in need of help, were the most likely to say they were too embarrassed to claim.
Home Heat Helpline and Age UK are teaming up to encourage more people to take advantage of the free advice service as the icy weather spreads across the country.
Christine McGourty, spokesperson for the Home Heat Helpline says: "Free help is available to people struggling to keep warm this winter, but too many are failing to claim because they don't think the help on offer is meant for them.
"We need to break down those barriers so that more of us claim what we're entitled to. The British public aren't too proud to claim for help but they appear to think it's only meant for people worse off than them. We want to change that perception and tell people now that the help on offer is actually for people just like themselves and could make a huge difference."
The Home Heat Helpline has trained advisers who can help access grants for insulation, special reduced tariffs as well as advice and support on how to keep warm and save money on energy bills. For more information on the Home Heat Helpline visit: www.homeheathelpline.org.uk or call 0800 33 66 99.