OXFORDSHIRE'S COMMUNITY ENERGY GROUPS
Community groups focusing on low carbon and sustainability actions exist all over Oxfordshire. 27 of them have decided to join the Low Carbon Hub Community Interest Company (CIC) as a community shareholder. Scroll down to your district to find the nearest one to you.
For more Oxfordshire groups working towards a sustainable future see the Community Action Groups website.
Hook Norton Low Carbon Ltd, OX15
Hook Norton Low Carbon Limited (HNLC) is an Industrial Provident Society, set up by Low Carbon Hook Norton members to help the community reduce its energy consumption, carbon emissions, and save money.
It runs a range of community-based schemes and individual household projects based on low-interest loans from a revolving fund. In conjunction with this, HNLC is also tackling transport emissions with a car pool, waste-oil with a bio-diesel tank, and is planning to generate revenue from renewable energy to ensure the sustainability of the fund, bring further benefit to members, and allow HNLC to start helping other communities.
Kidlington vs Climate Change, OX5
We established our group in 2007 to inform the local community about global warming and suggest actions that we can do locally to do our bit to achieve a sustainable future.
We have arranged various diverse events to raise awareness, from showing movies about climate change to organizing eco-fairs, promoting solar PV schemes and the Low Carbon Living programme.
Currently we meet to discuss topical issues in climate change and new technologies to get to a zero carbon future.
We advertise our meetings on our website, and you can join our mailing list by emailing the address below.
Sustainable Kirtlington, OX5
We are a community group working towards enhancing the environmental impact of our village through both energy saving and energy efficiency.
We have a committee of six members and a steadily growing mailing list. We are part of the Community Action Groups Oxfordshire network (CAGs), bringing local voluntary groups together, sharing information and experience. Join us and help contribute to a more sustainable future!
Low Carbon East Oxford, OX4
Low Carbon East Oxford runs initiatives to lower carbon emissions in the area, including community meetings, stalls to raise awareness and a giveaway day.
We are currently applying for funding for our Landlord Energy Efficiency Scheme (LESS). This is a big initiative that could save 1000+ tonnes of CO2 per annum by turning many of the least energy efficient homes in East Oxford into some of the most efficient. Read the LESS business plan on our website for full details. It’s a big project and we need all the help we can get, so please join us and make this a success!
Low Carbon Headington, OX3
We are a group of local residents committed to raising awareness of climate change locally, reducing Headington’s carbon emissions, and promoting a more sustainable lifestyle.
We have groups working on thermal imaging and community gardening, and a swap shop on the third Saturday of every month. A good starting point is our Carbon Conversations programme to help individuals make large personal carbon reductions. Also contact us to find out about the Co-wheels car club – three cars in Headington.
Low Carbon Oxford North, OX2
This is an energetic group working in the North Oxford area to help residents reduce their carbon footprint.
It runs a food group, Carbon Conversations and the Low Carbon Living programmes, and in partnership with E-Car it has established an electric car club in Summertown. The group is looking to set up a fuel poverty project. It also organises regular public meetings on issues of general interest. LCON also set up Oxford North CommunityRenewables, or ONCORE, a community energy enterprise which has successfully raisedcommunity investment to put solar panels on the roofs of two local schools. ONCORE’s aim is to lower North Oxford’s carbon footprint, generate cheap renewable electricity for building occupiers, andprovide income from the Government’s Feed-in Tariff to support the community in other carbon-reduction activities.
Low Carbon West Oxford, OX2
Low Carbon West Oxford (LCWO) is a community-led charity (registration no.1135225) which aims to reduce its community contribution to climate change by 80% by 2050 by encouraging and supporting local residents to live more sustainably and by helping to create a more cohesive and resilient community.
It works in partnership with West Oxford Community Renewables which develops local renewable energy projects, including solar PV, small wind turbines and a possible future microhydro installation on the Thames. WoCoRe donates part of its surplus to LCWO to support its carbon-cutting projects, including the Low Carbon Living household programme, as well as food, transport, waste reduction and wildlife projects.
Osney Lock Hydro, OX2
Osney Lock Hydro is the first community-owned hydro scheme to be built on the Thames. Set on the banks of the river Thames at Osney Lock, opposite the site of Oxford’s first electrical power station, it is one of only three sites suitable for hydro generation in the city. Building work started in the summer of 2013, with electricity generation starting in May 2015.
We want to harness the power of the river to generate green energy and reduce our community’s carbon emissions. The hydro will also create a sustainable income stream to fund environmental projects well into the next half of the century.
The hydro is now fully operational, generating clean green electricity. Osney Lock Hydro is predicted to generate more than 179,000 kWh of clean electricity annually. That’s equivalent to the electricity used by 55 homes.
Oxford North Community Renewables, OX2
Oxford North Community Renewables – ONCORE – is a community benefit society developing community energy projects across North Oxford.
ONCORE was set up by a sub-group of Low Carbon Oxford North (now a registered charity) in 2011 to lower the area’s carbon footprint and to generate income to support the community in other carbon reduction activities. In two and a half years ONCORE has raised a total of £245,00 for PV solar installations at the Cherwell School and St Barnabas School in North Oxford.
Rose Hill and Iffley Low Carbon, OX4
Rose Hill and Iffley Low Carbon (RHILC) is a community action group in south-east Oxford. We aim to involve local people in campaigns to reduce their carbon footprint and foster sustainable means of producing energy. We also try to raise awareness of the real threats of climate change – both to our own community and the wider world.
With the help the Community Action Group (CAG) Network and Low Carbon Hub, we founded the group in March 2013 and have already had several successes. We persuaded the City Council to cover our new Community Centre with solar PV panels, which now power a Co-Wheels electric car. We’ve run two thermal imaging campaigns and provided professional follow-up advice and insulation materials to local people. We’ve planted 200 trees in Rose Hill Recreation Ground and regularly help with local litter picks. We have worked closely with Project ERIC, which has installed solar PV and cutting-edge battery storage on 77 Oxford City Council and Green Square Housing Association homes – as well as batteries in eight owner-occupied homes. We have close links with the primary school, which has now put 102 solar panels on the roof through the Low Carbon Hub. We have also helped to crowd-fund a ‘zero-carbon classroom’ which will demonstrate visibly how the solar panels and battery storage function.
At present, we are working with BioRegional to research other ways of cutting the carbon footprint of our area. If you live in or near Rose Hill or Iffley and are interested in joining our growing and ambitious community group, then join us!
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West Oxford Community Renewables, OX2
West Oxford Community Renewables, or WOCoRe, develops community-owned renewables in West Oxford. Since our inception 2009 we have developed 220kWp of renewable energy projects, mainly solar PV with a small wind turbine, as well as developing a microhydro at Osney Lock, which was established as a new entity Osney Lock Hydro to deliver and manage the project.
Our projects are funded through investment by our members, and result in discounted electricity for our hosts and a modest interest payment for our members. Our profits are then reinvested in local environmental projects to achieve further carbon cuts.
We donate a large portion of our profits to Low Carbon West Oxford to support its work on the reducing our community's carbon footprint. Their work includes promoting improved domestic energy efficiency and low carbon activity focused on food, transport, waste reduction, and wildlife projects.
We also supported the establishing the Hogacre Common Eco Park at the former Corpus Christi College sports ground. Hogacre has now split off into its own Community Interest Company, but WOCoRe remains responsible for the lease.
Wolvercote Commoners’ Committee, OX2
Wolvercote Commoners’ Committee was set up in 1929 to manage three areas of common land in Wolvercote (two now classed as Sites of Special Scientific Interest) on behalf of all who live in the parish. It protects Common Rights (dating from 1279) as well as fostering and maintaining interest in amenities in Wolvercote.
Goring & Streatley Sustainability Group, RG8
The Goring and Streatley Sustainability Group (GSSG) is a group of volunteers committed to climate change for the benefit of the broader population, and our children.
We have two main objectives: first, to promote, for the benefit of the parishes of Goring and Streatley, the conservation, protection and improvement of the physical and natural environment of the area; and, secondly, to generate 1,000 MWh of clean hydroelectric power per annum from three Archimedes screws on the weirs at Goring & Streatley, enough to provide the electricity requirements for over 300 dwellings.
Sandford Micro-hydro, OX4
A group of people in Sandford is investigating the possibility of installing a hydropower scheme, based on an Archimedes screw, adjacent to the large weir.
We aim to form a community-owned hydropower company to provide a low impact contribution to the energy needs of the neighbourhood while generating a financial return for local investors and a surplus to be used for the benefit of the community. We want to develop social responsibility through community ownership and use the scheme as an educational opportunity.
Sustainable Didcot, OX11
Sustainable Wallingford, OX10
The aim of our group is to build a more sustainable town and community in Wallingford and its surrounding area.
We have a busy calendar of events throughout the year with talks on sustainability themes, film showings, an eco-homes weekend, food events such as an apple day in the autumn, plus our popular SwapShops throughout the year. Find out more, and contact us, via our website
VALE OF WHITE HORSE
Abingdon Carbon Cutters, OX14
Abingdon Carbon Cutters aims to do what it says “on the tin”: reduce the carbon footprint of Abingdon in response to climate change, and promote a sustainable lifestyle.
We meet on the third Wednesday of the month at St Ethelwold’s House. At some meetings we have guest speakers and at others we discuss actions to address climate change but our focus is on encouragement. Come and join us!
Faringdon Eco-week, SN7
Faringdon’s annual eco-week runs a raft of low carbon events for all ages and interests, covering waste, food, energy, environment, and sustainable living in our community.
There’s loads to discover about being happier, healthier, and better off! Join in one of the many activities taking place in and around Faringdon, our urban-rural hub: low carbon methods of transport preferred!
Sustainable Blewbury, OX11
A proactive community on the sustainability front, we are currently running five main projects in Blewbury.
These include an energy initiative to encourage the use of renewables; a travel and transport network to reduce dependence on cars; a plan for the protection of the natural environment and heritage in the area; the waste and recycling group to encourage water saving and household composting; and the food and farming project that runs a produce stall every Saturday. See our website for more details, and contacts for individual groups.
Sustainable Wantage, OX12
Sustainable Wantage is for anyone who has an interest in living more lightly on the planet.
We are run by volunteers and support all sorts of different environmental initiatives relevant to our community. Also, as a member of the Oxfordshire Community Action Group network, we regularly meet with the many other similar groups across the county. Come along to one of our Green Drinks evenings where you can contribute to, and learn from, discussions on all sorts of “green” topics with like-minded people.
Westmill Solar Co-operative & WeSET, SN6
Westmill Solar Co-operative was established in 2012 and was the first community owned solar farm in the UK. At 5MW, it was also the world’s largest community-owned scheme at the time but we have been very happy to see other similar sized community-owned schemes follow in our footsteps. The solar park is located on the Oxfordshire/Wiltshire border and produces enough clean electricity per year to power 1,600 homes. The aims of the project are to combat climate change by financing a reliable source of renewable energy, provide local people and other investors with a stable, reliable source of income, and help the area transition to a low carbon future economy.
Every year we donate 1% of our revenue to the charity, Westmill Sustainable Energy Trust (WeSET). WeSET is a charity set up to promote community decarbonisation and sustainable energy. It does this through arts, education and community renewable projects. Over the last few years they’ve shown more than 10,000 visitors around the Westmill site, through a combination of open days, on-site events and guided tours. WeSET demonstrate what a genuinely community-owned low carbon future could look like and how we can all play a role in that.
Westmill Wind Farm Co-operative, SN6
Southill Community Energy, OX7
Southill Solar, the community solar farm owned by Southill Community Energy and its members, is now fully operational, and has got off to a great start operating above its performance targets in early 2017. We have already begun implementing the landscape management plans with a community orchard planting day in January and sowing the wild flower meadow will be taking place over the next few months.
There will be further investment opportunities in the solar farm this year and we are planning to have an open day on the site, at a date to be confirmed but sometime in May - please watch this space and visit our website for further updates.
Sustainable Charlbury, OX7
Sustainable Charlbury aims to inspire, encourage and empower groups and individuals within the community to reduce carbon emissions.
We provide education, advice and assistance to the residents of Charlbury and surrounding villages to reduce carbon emissions from buildings, transport, energy generation, food and consumption.
Transition Chipping Norton, OX7
The Transition Movement is a positive approach to meeting the challenges of the coming decades.
Transition Chipping Norton currently is concentrating on localising food production and supporting our local farmers and also encouraging the switch to greener energy technology and saving energy by better insulation of homes and other buildings.
Transition Eynsham Area
TEA or Green TEA is part of the Transition Towns network, a worldwide movement concerned with climate change and peak oil.
They have five working groups: waste; hearts & minds; food; energy; and transport. All are concerned with raising the profile of the problems among members of the public and their politicians. Green TEA aims to demonstrate practical means of decreasing carbon output, e.g. energy conservation and generation, recycling, public transport, and localisation of food production. Activities include film shows, swap shops, seed swaps and a fruit festival. We are currently working on a car club, improving cycling facilities, local food production, a thermal imaging project, and small-scale power generation.