FEWER than half of people from the North East would talk to family or friends if they were struggling to pay their bills.
Despite this, the survey by the Energy Saving Trust (EST) also revealed 31 per cent of people paying their fuel bills.
One in six would take a second job or do overtime to fuel their home, while just three per cent would investigate sources of help like an energy advice helpline.
The findings show that as a nation the middle is “feeling the pinch” more than ever before.
According to the Energy Saving Trust, households can save £280 on their energy bills by taking simple energy efficient measures in the home.
By adopting three simple energy-saving tips, which are turning the thermostat down by one degree, turning appliances off standby and doing their washing at 30 degrees, people living in the North East would save an estimated £114million on their energy bills.
To find out more, visit www.bigenergysavingweek.org.uk or phone 0300 123 1234.