Oxford City Council offer support with gas and electricity during crisis

Oxford City Council offer support with gas and electricity during crisis

Oxford City Council offer support with gas and electricity during crisis

Oxford City Council have announced that they are able to offer advice and practical support to Oxford residents struggling to top up prepayment meters for gas and electricity during the coronavirus crisis.

This comes after a report revealed that the coronavirus crisis has caused a surge in finance related anxiety.

A press release issued by the council said:

“The energy advice team usually supports council tenants, around 40% of whom rely on prepayment meters for their gas and electricity.

“The team is now working with staff in locality response hubs and volunteers from Oxford Together to support all Oxford residents and has so far helped more than 75 vulnerable households with coronavirus-related energy emergencies.”

In the first instance, the council says that people should contact their energy supplier to discuss any issues topping up their meters – for example, because they cannot afford to do so or are self-isolating and unable to leave their homes.

Energy suppliers have also agreed to support vulnerable people on prepayment meters during the coronavirus crisis. This support includes providing cards and keys with preloaded credit, sending engineers to top up meters and negotiating affordable repayment rates once customers are able to resume normal top ups.

The council can help with support needs that vary from needing a volunteer to go to shops to top up prepayment cards or keys to help facilitating emergency credit.

Charlie Payne, energy advice officer, said:

“Situations can get quite serious – I helped one resident who was shielding due to a prior health condition and had coronavirus symptoms.

“He urgently needed to keep his electricity on so that he could phone for an ambulance if needed. Fortunately I was able to get his energy supplier to send an engineer round to top up his meter within hours.

It can be stressful at times but when we get thanks from residents that makes the world of difference.”

In one case where the energy advice team facilitated an electricity top up and the sending of a gas card with preloaded credit, a resident subsequently thanked their adviser:

“I got my gas card today. I wanted to leave a message to say thank you very much. You made a difference through being on the phone. And when I clap for the NHS I will be clapping for you as well.”

Residents can contact the energy advice team on 01865 252372 or email

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