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.
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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
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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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about Better Housing, Better Health, please visit www.nef.org.uk/bhbh.