More than three in ten Brits say they are simply too scared to put their heating on – through fear about CRIPPLING fuel bills, according to a new study. Researchers surveyed Brits nationwide and revealed MILLIONS are facing a fuel poverty crisis this year, with a staggering 32 percent saying they will struggle to heat their homes this winter.

A further 43 percent say the cost of heating their house forces them to think twice before turning it on. 16 percent of those surveyed by Solarplicity, said they spend more than 10 percent of their monthly income on fuel – the official yardstick of fuel poverty. Meanwhile a further 32 percent often find themselves facing a fuel poverty “crisis” depending on how much money they have earned that month.

According to the study almost half of those polled (48 percent) said they knew at least one person who will struggle to afford to keep their home warm this winter – of those, 94 percent said they were concerned about their welfare. Emma Bridge, Chief Executive, Community Energy England, whose works investigates fuel poverty within communities said: “Solarplicity’s research shows that 40 percent of those surveyed said they had never spoken to a fuel poverty outreach worker to help with their heating issues but would be keen to seek help.

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“It is important that vulnerable people don’t feel stigmatised about asking for help and that help is readily available locally.“Cold living conditions can promote cardiovascular illness and condensation damp related respiratory illness. In Britain in 2017, this preventable health risk to the most vulnerable in society is not acceptable.” A further 30 percent say they feel worried, unhappy and even depressed when they receive a heating bill.

In a bid to keep warm, 48 percent of us wear more clothes, 45 percent use extra blankets and throws on their beds and another 45 percent use draft excluders to keep the heat in. The survey also revealed that six in ten people claim they simply don’t trust the “Big Six” energy companies to be honest and transparent about how much they charge.

Most people polled (67 percent) thought they are only interested in profit, while 65 percent think they continually put up prices and they never tell you if you’re on the wrong tariff (43 percent) Ex-England Rugby Player and Non-Executive Director for Solarplicity, Austin Healey added: “Unlike the ‘Big Six’, Solarplicity’s mission is simple – energy that is renewable, transparent and fair for all.

“Our mission is to tackle fuel poverty in the UK by guaranteeing a tariff that is cheaper than the ‘Big Six’ with no standing charges, as well as giving away 1 million kwh of energy to those most in need.”