Electricity North West and Citizens Advice have joined forces to help support the fuel poor this winter.

It hopes thousands of households will benefit from the new £500,000 partnership.

It was launched this week to marks the launch of Electricity North West’s 'Be Winter Ready' campaign as coronavirus restrictions makes the cost of energy bills higher.

New research by the company has revealed per cent of households in its region are 'fuel poor', meaning their energy bills are higher than they can afford.

In Lancashire, the data revealed the figure for Pendle Borough was 18.12 per cent, Blackburn with Darwen 16.50 per cent, Burnley 16.42 per cent, Hyndburn 15.44 per cent, Rossendale 12.12 per cent and Ribble Valley 10.15 per cent.

Electricity North-West has committed £250,000 a year for two years to pay for seven new members of staff for Citizens Advice.

They will offer free energy efficiency advice and support in managing the bills to households.

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."

Andy Brown, Chief Officer at Citizens Advice Manchester said: "With the coronavirus pandemic forcing people to stay inside more, this support has never been more needed."