ABOUT 8,000 homes in York are entitled to help with energy bills but many residents do not know it is available, according to a study.

Research carried out by the Home Heat Helpline found only 38 per cent of people in Yorkshire thought the free service it offers was aimed at them and just 29 per cent had contacted their energy supplier for more details.

The scheme connects people on low incomes with support which is worth about £160 for the average person, including grants for insulation, new boilers, discounts and rebate schemes.

The helpline’s spokeswoman, Christine McGourty, said: “Energy companies have committed to spending about £250 million to help people struggling to pay their fuel bills, but this survey shows many simply don’t realise the help is there.”

The helpline can be contacted by phoning 0800 336699. More information is also available at homeheathelpline.org.uk and updates are on twitter at @HHHelpline.