A poverty charity fears that families in Lancashire may be spending the festive season in cold homes because people struggle to pay their energy bills.
Turn2us warns that despite 181,750 households in Lancashire receiving the Winter Fuel Payment to help with the energy costs last winter, many will cut back on heating their home this year because they are struggling financially.
The charity says that it is crucial that residents who are concerned about their fuel bills receive the support that they are eligible for.
Research by Turn2us found more than half of those surveyed were not aware many energy suppliers offer support towards winter energy bills to certain customers, such as those on low incomes. Two-thirds were not aware some energy suppliers have charitable trusts to help certain customers who are struggling with their energy bills.
Turn2us is a charity that helps people in financial hardship gain access to welfare benefits and charitable grants and is running a No Cold Homes campaign to raise awareness of the different types of support available to people who are struggling with energy costs.
Simon Hopkins, chief executive of Turn2us, said: “Our research lays bare the extent to which people are needlessly suffering in cold homes this winter. Over half of people who have come to Turn2us looking for support, people who are already taking that first difficult step and looking for help, do not have any awareness of the support that they can get towards fuel bills. What’s even more concerning is that it is older people and those living with a disability that will be hardest hit.
“Having just had a record breaking cold November, it is absolutely imperative that people are made aware that help is available. That is why we are urging people to check with relatives and neighbours, especially those who are older or living with a disability, so that we can tackle this situation head on.”
To find out more about the No Cold Homes campaign visit www.turn2us.org.uk/About-Us/Our-campaigns/No-Cold-Homes.