Don’t miss out! Save £140 on your electricity bills this winter through Better Housing Better Health 

Oxford City Council is urging Oxford residents to contact Better Housing Better Health to help get £140 off their electricity bills this winter.

The discount is available under the government’s Warm Home Discount (WHD) scheme. This is a one-off discount on electricity bills between September and March. It is available to people with prepayment meters.

There are two ways to qualify for a discount. People who get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit will receive a letter from their energy supplier telling them how to get their WHD.

Working age people can qualify for the WHD if they are on a low income, getting means-tested benefits, or have a disability or children under five. Eligibility can vary depending on the energy supplier, and there is a limited amount of help available for people who are not pensioners.

To avoid missing out, the council says that residents should not delay contacting their energy supplier to claim the WHD. People who need support to find out if they qualify or to claim WHD should contact the free Better Housing Better Health service.

Better Housing Better Health gives Oxford residents a single point of contact for services, advice and grants in order to stay warm and well in their homes.

The Better Housing Better Health helpline number is 0800 107 0044, which is open between 9 am and 5 pm on weekdays.

Where to recycle your Christmas tree

Oxford City Council can recycle real Christmas trees. Leave yours, without the lights, pot or decorations, next to the blue bin or sacks on collection day, starting from the week beginning 9 January for those in the south of the city (red collection zone) or week beginning 16 January for those in the north (blue collection zone). The Council will collect them for free and recycle them into compost (you don’t need a brown bin subscription). Last year the City Council composted around 5,000 Christmas trees.

Residents in flats that do not have kerbside collections, or anyone wishing to recycle their tree before the collections begin, can take their trees to one of the 12 collection points across the city instead. These are open until 14 January and are located at:

• Alexandra Tennis Courts, Middle Way, Summertown
• Leys Pools and Leisure Centre car park (formerly Blackbird Leys Leisure Centre)
• Bury Knowle Park, North Place car park
• Cutteslowe Park, Harbord Road car park
• Florence Park, Cowley
• Hinksey Park, off Abingdon Road
• Long Lane, Littlemore
• Margaret Road Recreation Ground
• Meadow Lane Recreation Ground, Jackdaw Lane
• Oatlands Recreation Ground, Ferry Hinksey Road (car park)
• South Park, Morrell Avenue
• Sunnymead Recreation Ground, by play area

To find out more visit the Recycling at Christmas page on the Council’s website,

‘One-stop’ shop helpline available for Oxford residents to keep homes warm.

Residents in Oxford concerned about keeping warm in their homes this winter are being encouraged to contact the free helpline for advice.

The helpline, which is operated by the Better Housing Better Health (BHBH) scheme, provides any Oxford resident with a single point of contact for services, advice and grants in order to stay warm and well in their homes.

The free ‘Better Housing Better Health’ helpline, 0800 107 0044, which residents can ring for guidance on how to stay warm, is open Monday to Friday, between 9am and 5pm.

The scheme has been launched by the National Energy Foundation (NEF), working on behalf of Oxford City Council and the five other local authorities across Oxfordshire

Those at greater risk of the impacts of cold homes include those who are:

  • Aged over 60
  • Children under 5 and pregnant mothers
  • Living with respiratory disease (COPD, asthma)
  • On a low income
  • Suffer from cardiovascular disease (Ischaemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease)
  • Suffer from moderate to severe mental illness
  • Terminally ill
  • Have limited mobility
  • Have severe learning difficulties
  • In long-term debt

There are no eligibility requirements for residents wanting to access the service. Any resident who is looking for free advice on how to keep warm is encouraged to call the helpline. 

Residents who call the helpline will have their needs assessed over the phone and, where eligible, can be referred to:

  • Expert Energy Advice
  • LEAP Home Energy Visit and associated services such as small repairs
  • Energy bill discounts
  • Grants and funding
  • Income maximisation
  • Other Council services and more



Electric blanket testing – FREE!

date for testing

October 2016 dates

  • Monday 3rd – Oxford
  • Tuesday 4th – Banbury
  • Wednesday 5th – Wallingford
  • Thursday 6th – Abingdon
  • Friday 7th – Witney
  • Monday 17th – Wantage
  • Tuesday 18th – Bicester
  • Wednesday 19th – Henley
  • Thursday 20th – Oxford
  • Friday 21st – Chipping Norton

How to book your free test

To book your safety check appointment call 01865 815 000 option 4 or email:
Pre-booked appointments only on a strictly first come first served basis

2016 partners

  • Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service
  • Oxfordshire County Council Trading Standards
  • Cherwell District Council
  • West Oxfordshire District Council
  • South Oxfordshire District Council
  • Vale of White Horse District Council
  • Age UK Oxfordshire
  • Witney Rotary Club

Why do electric blankets fail their test?

  • Because they were over 10 years old and had no safety features built into the controller.
  • Because of a leakage of voltage to the surface of the blanket.
  • The elements were able to move around inside the blanket with the potential to rub together and cause a short circuit.
  • Elements were not secured within the blanket and were exposed to the surface.
  • Power lead fasteners were broken and unable to be secured.
  • The surface of the blanket was worn, exposing the elements.


Grants to help keep your home warm


Oxford residents affected by living in cold or damp homes are able to receive grants of up to £2,500 to help keep their homes warmer.

The Better Housing, Better Health scheme aims to reduce the pressure on health services, improve health and wellbeing for those living with cardiovascular disease or respiratory illness, and reduce fuel poverty.

The scheme, which runs until December 2016, provides:

  • Grants of up to £2,500 for energy efficiency measures for owner occupied homes where someone has a respiratory illness or cardiovascular disease. Measures can include installing insulation and draught-proofing, and replacing outside doors or windows
  • Free surveys to identify potential risks to health in owner occupied and privately rented homes where someone has a respiratory illness or cardiovascular disease.
  • Support with benefits checks, fuel debt mediation and switching energy tariff or supplier for anyone in need of support.

Oxford residents can quickly check if they are eligible by calling the Affordable Warmth Helpline on 0800 107 00 44.

The helpline, which also provides free and impartial advice about how to keep homes warm, is open Monday to Friday, between 9am and 5pm.

An email helpdesk is also available:

For more information about Better Housing, Better Health, please visit