Created a step change in the growth of Oxfordshire’s low carbon economy

The OxFutures programme cultivated a pioneering transformation at
a business, academic and innovation level. Using the skills, knowledge, and
resources of its six partner organisations in concert led to powerful local
impacts, which provide solutions to how the county will reach net zero. We have
created an engine of ambitious zero-carbon innovation and a legacy that will
transform our region with a local vision for our global future.

Read more in the OxFutures Social Impact Report.

History of OxFutures

OxFutures started as a £3.2m, three-year project to boost low carbon economic development in Oxfordshire. It was supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and run through a collaborative partnership between the Low Carbon Hub, Oxford City Council, University of Oxford, Oxford Brookes University, Cherwell District Council and Bioregional. The programme was made up of three distinct parts: GreenLab, GreenFund and GreenTech.

Phase 2 of the programme allowed funding for three years (until 2020) to offer free energy audits to SMEs in Oxfordshire to identify energy saving opportunities, reduce energy bills and cut carbon emissions. The project had grants available which then part-funded the implementation of the measures recommended by the audit. It also supported innovation by encouraging knowledge sharing between academics, local authorities and SMEs and providing grant support for new low-carbon start-ups, and those developing new low-carbon products and technologies.

A post-Brexit extension of the programme continued with support for a further three years. The extension was continued by partners Low Carbon Hub and Oxford Brookes to run until March 2023. As of March 2022 the team met their target early, having supported almost 200 SMEs with fully funded energy assessments a full year ahead of schedule.

The programme is no longer active. If your organisation is looking to improve the energy performance of your buildings, check out our programme Energy Solutions Oxfordshire.

The project delivered 181 energy audits to businesses and organisations across Oxfordshire, recommending 2,209,957 kWh of electricity and gas savings. It awarded £165,056 of grants to help these organisations implement energy efficiency measures, reducing their energy bills and carbon emissions.

The team also supported innovation with eight new low carbon start-up
businesses founded and nine new low carbon products or services developed, all boosting Oxfordshire’s development as a UK leader in the new low carbon economy.

Knowledge sharing in the sector was strengthened with the establishment of a new network, Oxfordshire Greentech. Find out more about the impact of this programme in our Annual Social Impact Reports and on the OxFutures website.

Funded projects

Projects funded through OxFutures include:

  • Ecosync: a start up aiming, through innovative technology, to reduce the energy consumption and carbon footprint of buildings by 40%
  • Shed Oxford: a volunteer organisation who received a grant to improve the energy efficiency of their community workshop
  • Lady Sew and Sew: a sewing and crafting company making big strides towards reducing its energy consumption and carbon footprint
  • The Folly: a restaurant in central Oxford which received a free energy audit and decided to install an energy saving induction oven to save gas and prevent overheating.
  • Electrogenic: received innovation funding to develop their prototype of retrofitting a classic car with an electric motor.

A gallery showing some OxFutures energy efficiency work and events