Local MP Alex Cunningham is urging people in Stockton to contact the Home Heat Helpline for free help and advice on their energy bills, after research showed that 19% of the area’s households are missing out on the support they are entitled to.
A range of measures to help keep heating costs down – such as free or cut-price insulation – are available from energy companies. However, research by the New Policy Institute on behalf of the Home Heat Helpline found that millions of people across the country are failing to take advantage of free help such as this.
In Stockton 15,000 homes – 19% of the total number in the area – are eligible for energy efficiency measures which would help to keep their bills down, but have failed to claim it. This is despite estimates that insulating lofts and cavity walls could help save the typical household around £250 on its heating costs.
By contacting the Home Heat Helpline free on 0800 33 66 99, people will be given the advice they need to access this help. Since opening five years ago, the Helpline has helped around 190,000 people. This winter alone, huge demand saw record calls of 20,000 and a 600% increase in the number of calls.
Commenting, Alex said: “Thousands of people in my constituency are missing out on free help which could reduce their energy bills. Given the record cold winter, it is vital that people take advantage of all the assistance which is available. If you want help or advice on how to keep your bills as low as possible, or know someone else who does, you should call the Home Heat Helpline free on 0800 33 66 99 to speak to a trained advisor.”
Sian Lloyd, ITV weather presenter who supports the Home Heat Helpline, said: “As we emerge from one of the coldest winters on record, the Home Heat Helpline has been a lifeline for the most vulnerable who have been worried about paying their energy bills. There is lots of free help out there and I urge those most in need to call today to get the support you are entitled to.”
Christine McGourty, spokesperson for the Home Heat Helpline said: “Free help is available to people struggling to keep warm, 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.’’