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The households missing out on winter fuel discounts

19 January 2014 Last updated at 00:29 GMT

As winter temperatures drop, how many households on low incomes know about the government's special fuel allowance, the Warm Home Discount?

Fifty one thousand households in County Durham are in fuel poverty which means they earn less than £16,000 a year and spend more than £1,200 on energy.

Inside Out discovered that only a fraction of those who are entitled to the Warm Home Discount in County Durham are in receipt of it.

Presenter Chris Jackson spoke to resident Sharon Pape from Newton Aycliffe, who was unaware of the scheme despite being on benefits.

He also talked to Jenny Saunders from National Energy Action who believes more funding is needed to drive energy efficiency measures for homes.

But Greg Barker, a Minister of State at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, disagrees and says the government has provided more funding since last year.

Inside Out is broadcast on Monday, 20 January at 19:30 GMT on BBC One North East & Cumbria and nationwide for seven days thereafter on the iPlayer.

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