BARROW has been named as the only local authority in Cumbria above the North West's fuel poor average.

Research, recently commissioned by Electricity North West, has revealed 13.01 per cent of all households in its North West region are fuel poor, meaning their energy bills are higher than they can afford.

In Cumbria, the data revealed one local authority, Barrow-in-Furness (15.05 per cent) was above the North West’s fuel poor average. The other four were just below: Carlisle (12.10 per cent), Eden (11.95 per cent), Copeland (11.74 per cent) and South Lakeland (10.86 per cent) fuel poor homes.

As a result of this, Electricity North West and Citizens Advice have joined forces to help provide crucial support for those who need a little extra help this winter.

The region’s power network operator has committed to a £250,000-a-year partnership with the charity for the next two years, starting immediately in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The new partnership, which marks the launch of Electricity North West’s ‘Be Winter Ready’ campaign, is expected to help thousands of people over the next 24 months with free energy efficiency advice and support in managing their bills.

Jo Crinson, Partnership Manager at Electricity North West, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Citizens Advice Manchester, a tremendous charity which makes a real difference to people every day.

“Winter can be a difficult time, and this one will be more challenging than usual due to the impacts of covid, and we want to help those who may find it more difficult than others, or just need additional support.

“The service that our key workers provide in operating the network only makes up a small proportion of overall energy bills, but nonetheless we want to make sure we look after our communities this winter, and this partnership will help us do that.”