Advice to deal with fuel bills

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WEARSIDERS are being given a helping hand to cope with rising utility bills.

North East-based social enterprise Dawn Advice has joined forces with the British Gas Energy Trust to help residents living across the region keep in control of mounting bills.

Residents who spend more than 10 per cent of their income on heating their home are classed as being in fuel poverty and may be eligible for financial help to reduce their household bills.

People who contact the service will be able to access specialist fuel debt advice either over the phone or by appointment at their home or at their nearest participating Citizens Advice Bureau.

They will also receive support in applying for financial help from the British Gas Energy Trust and advice on energy efficiency to help prevent future fuel debts.

Liz Chadwick, Dawn Advice boss, said: “Figures published in 2010 showed the North East had England’s second-highest percentage of homes affected by fuel poverty, with 21.2 per cent of households spending over 10 per cent of their income on energy bills.

“Fuel poverty is a major concern in the North East and is one of the most common contributing factors in many of the cases which our debt advisers deal with on a daily basis.”

Anyone in need of help can contact Dawn Advice on 0300 303 1931 for specialist telephone advice or to arrange a face-to-face appointment.