Keeping vulnerable Britons warm this winter

homeheathelplineLow income households urged to call Home Heat Helpline (0800 33 66 99) at winter launch

One in three UK adults and almost half of 16-24 year olds do not ask for help, as they are not comfortable with others knowing their personal circumstances, according to new research conducted by Home Heat Helpline (0800 33 66 99).  Today marks the launch of the Helpline’s winter campaign and the confidential, free advice service is encouraging low-income households to pick up the phone to get assistance.

Millions of vulnerable people missed out on energy bill savings and free assistance to warm their homes last winter, as they didn’t reach out to Home Heat Helpline for advice. Home Heat Helpline’s research addresses why people in the UK do not seek help. The main factors preventing people from asking for help are fear, pride and embarrassment.

  • Nearly 60% of people will at times not seek help or advice when they need it
  • One in six British adults are too ashamed or too shy to ask for help, as are a fifth of women
  • Nearly half (43%) of young people aged 16-24 are also too ashamed or shy to get assistance
  • One in seven respondents are too proud to seek help

Angela Knight, Chief Executive, Energy UK said: “It can sometimes be difficult to admit that you need help, whether that is when paying your bills, heating your home or in other aspects of your life. Having a stiff upper lip is still part of the British persona. As winter creeps around the corner we are urging people to pick up the phone to the Home Heat Helpline on 0800 33 66 99 to find out if you are eligible for energy bill savings, and for free advice to keep your home warm.

“The average call to the Home Heat Helpline lasts under seven minutes, and could result in savings of up to £300 per eligible household. That’s less time than it takes to make a cup of tea, and you could save enough to cover this year’s Christmas presents.”

The Home Heat Helpline assisted over 42,000 people during the 2012/13 winter season with approximately £250 energy savings per household. However, 99% of eligible households missed out on free advice and potentially financial assistance because they did not call the Helpline.

This winter, the Warm Home Discount is available for the elderly who are on benefits and the vulnerable. Additionally, there is insulation help for many.

Giving, but not taking…

The research also reveals:

  • Almost half (47%) of those surveyed would be willing to lend friends and family up to £100
  • 97% of us are happy to help our friends, family, neighbours and colleagues in some way
  • One in five would help others with paying energy bills
  • People are more than twice as likely to visit online forums and websites for help (39%) than to ask siblings (19%)
  • Brits are more comfortable asking friends (65%) for help than their own family (48%)

Since 2005, the Home Heat Helpline has helped over 330,000 callers to keep their home warm by accessing grants for new boilers, insulations, discounts and rebate schemes. To find out more, call 0800 33 66 99 to speak to a friendly advisor, or use our Energy Checker to find out if you are eligible.

The Home Heat Helpline (0800 33 66 99) is funded by Britain’s major energy suppliers and supported by a range of support organisations including Age UK, Citizens Advice; National Energy Action, Energy Saving Trust and Gingerbread.

www.homeheathelpline.org.uk

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