Great Coxwell Community Energy Bulletins

Greener Great Coxwell Community Energy Project – Bulletin 5

Posted on 15/11/21

Picture

​Welcome to Bulletin 5 from the Energy Project team.

It covers
1: an update on the energy network and
2: an invitation to COSY HOMES zoom talk

1: Over the last weeks Greener Great Coxwell Heating Project have:

  • Finally submitted our application to the Greater South West Energy Hub – for Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF) grants for the feasibility study. We currently have 75 households expressing an interest. Anyone else is always welcome. If you are interested – with no obligation – please go to :  www.greenergreatcoxwell.com. We don’t expect to hear any definite news until into the new year.
  • Locogen (https://locogen.com),have been appointed to act as our consultants should we be successful in the grant application.
  • The team working on a similar proposal for the island of Iona said the following about Locogen: 

“The Locogen staff are technically extremely impressive – they immediately command confidence of all parties and stakeholders. They are flexible, responsive and committed. They are excellent communicators and excellent at dealing with the community and other stakeholders. ”  

  • Submitted our application to the Financial Conduct Authority  to form a Community Benefit Company. This will give us the legal framework we need to carry out the first part of the project and manage the finances should we be successful in winning the grant.
  • Finalized our application for a bank account with the Co-Operative Bank.
  • Linked with the Clanfield Sustainability group ‘One Planet Clanfield’. They have started several projects in the last six months; a Community Allotment and Sharing Shelves, Green Team at the school, TerraCycling schemes, regular meetings and village wide events. They were interested in our experience working on the energy project and are looking for land for a community orchard and to run a regular Repair Café.
  • Participated in the Oxfordshire Cosy Homes Insulation Project Advocates AGM. Greener Great Cowell have organised a Zoom later this week for anyone interested. You might find it informative to try Cosy Home’s free ‘Plan Builder’ to ‘Create a refurbishment plan to make your home warmer, reduce your CO₂ emissions and cut your energy bills’. See the link on Cosy Homes home page : https://cosyhomesoxfordshire.org/.

2 : Cosy Homes presentation for Greener Gt Coxwell    Thursday, 18 November⋅7:30 – 9:00pm

One of the quickest and most cost-effective means of reducing our energy use and thereby saving money and emissions, is by improving home insulation. The Oxford Low Carbon Hub home insulation project called Cost Homes (https://cosyhomesoxfordshire.org/) provides a single source of help and advice for anyone considering retrofitting home insulation. Cosy Homes offers a consultancy service to assess your current insulation and provide a costed plan of how it could be improved. They can even recommend approved contractors  and if you wish they could manage the whole project. 

Greener Great Coxwell have arranged a Zoom meeting on 18th November from 7:30 to 9:00, when the Cosy Homes Manager, Geordie Stewart, will give a Presentation of the program and be available to answer questions. Details are: 

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86346161016?pwd=Q2ZPWVI2M25nVFVremt6YlZyNkNjZz09
Meeting ID: 863 4616 1016
Passcode: 569786

If you would like to express an interest in the energy project, please contact us – with no obligation or commitment – either : 

e-mail:  energy@greenergreatcoxwell.com
visit :     https://greenergreatcoxwell.com/contact-page/

To find out more or to send us specific queries visit www.greenergreatcoxwell.com or e-mail energy@greenergreatcoxwell.com.

For general information from Greener Great Coxwell please mail : info@greenergreatcoxwell.com.
You can find these Bulletins on the website at : https://greenergreatcoxwell.com/great-coxwell-community-energy-bulletins/

Thank you, 
Annabelle Zinovieff, Ken Hirons, Ian Mason, Karen Mason, Margaret O’Donohoe, Richard Benwell, Sophie Stainer, Jacqui Russell

Greener Great Coxwell Community Energy Project – Bulletin 4

Welcome to Bulletin 4 from the Energy Project team. Again a big thank you to everyone who contacted us to show your support, completed the interest form on our Website or spoke to one of us on the doorstep. We are pleased to say that we have reached our target of 60% of our households expressing an interest by the end of October –  in fact we are now well past this with 72 addresses. Apologies if we haven’t had a chance to speak with you and if anyone else would like to contact us or visit the website please see the links below. We welcome any last minute supporters – everyone helps our grant application.
Last week, the Heat and Buildings Strategy gave more details of the government’s 10 Point Green Industrial Revolution plans. Two points of particular relevance to our project were their promise of £340m for the growth of heat networks like ours, and their ‘aspiration’ to end new gas boilers by 2035. To encourage this change they provide outline proposals, once the current energy price ‘spike’ has subsided, to shift environmental levies through the next decade so that gas will become yet more expensive but electricity less so. 


Over the last weeks Greener Great Coxwell Heating Network have:

  • Received and reviewed three bids in response to our Invitation To Tender for the Consultancy work on the feasibility study. 
  • Completed our draft funding application (to the Greater South West Energy Hub – for Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF) ,  Stage 1 funding) which will be submitted before the Friday 5th November deadline. Our application has been reviewed and described as ‘very strong’. So we are optimistic.
  • Completed our selection process and eventually appointed Locogen (https://locogen.com) as our consultants to carry out the feasibility study should we be successful in our grant application.  Locogen has experience in guiding 12 clients through the RCEF Stage 1 Process. We were impressed by their engagement with our village and project profile, their wide experience and their professional yet personal touch. Also, Locogen has much experience of the full cycle of implementing, investing in and managing Local Energy Networks. We feel Locogen will be a good fit with our village and will be able to help with all aspects of our project.

      Locogen say:    We’re an internationally recognised and award-winning expert in facilitating the development, construction and operation of                                                        renewable energy systems for our partners and clients.   

  • We have now submitted our application to the Financial Conduct Authority to form a Community Benefit Company. This will give us the legal framework we need to carry out the first part of the project and manage the finances should we be successful in winning the grant. 
logo-footer.png

               Cosy Homes presentation for Greener Gt Coxwell    

Thursday, 18 November⋅7:30 – 9:00pm

Whether we are successful with the Heat Network project or not, one of the quickest and most cost effective means of reducing our energy use and thereby saving money and emissions, is by improving home insulation. For some time Greener Great Coxwell have been working with an Oxford Low Carbon Hub home insulation project called Cost Homes (https://cosyhomesoxfordshire.org/). This project provides a single source of help and advice for anyone considering retrofitting home insulation. Cosy Homes offers a consultancy service that will survey your home and provide a comprehensive assessment of your current insulation status and a costed plan of how it could be improved. They have their own contractors who could be engaged to carry out any retrofit work and if you wish they could manage the whole project.
Greener Great Coxwell have arranged a Zoom meeting on 18th November from 7:30 to 9:00, when the Cosy Homes Manager, Geordie Stewart will give a Presentation of the program and be available to answer questions. Details are: Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86346161016?pwd=Q2ZPWVI2M25nVFVremt6YlZyNkNjZz09

Meeting ID: 863 4616 1016
Passcode: 569786

We will send these details out again nearer the time.
Finally: If you are at all interested in the Project but have not yet expressed an interest and would like to, please contact us to let us know – with no obligation or commitment – either : 
e-mail:  energy@greenergreatcoxwell.com
visit :     https://greenergreatcoxwell.com/contact-page/
To find out more or to send us specific queries visit www.greenergreatcoxwell.com or e-mail energy@greenergreatcoxwell.com.
For general information from Greener Great Coxwell please mail : info@greenergreatcoxwell.com.
You can find these Bulletins on the website at : https://greenergreatcoxwell.com/great-coxwell-community-energy-bulletins/
Thank you, 
Annabelle Zinovieff, Ken Hirons, Ian Mason, Karen Mason, Margaret O’Donohoe, Richard Benwell, Sophie Stainer, Jacqui Russell

Greener Great Coxwell Community Energy Project – Bulletin 3 17/10/2021

Welcome to Bulletin 3, just over a week on from the last bulletin and the project is moving rapidly ahead. Again thank you to everyone who contacted us to show your support, completed the interest form on our Website or spoke to one of us on the doorstep. Apologies for interrupting your evenings and many thanks for some very interesting discussions. We are pleased to say that as of 15th October we have 57 households expressing support. We still need more support and, if anyone we haven’t been able to call on yet would like to contact us or visit the website please see the links below. Our target is to have 70 supporters by the end of the month and to submit our application by 5th November. 

 Expressing an interest is all that is required at this stage.  Your expression of interest does not imply any other obligation or commitment. 

Over the last week we have: 

– Attended the Oxford Low Carbon Hub AGM – we are a member of the Hub and they have been a great support, we hope to work closely with them on Solar Panels and Retrofit Insulation during the project.

– We completed our preliminary discussions with potential Consultants last week – and compiled a shortlist of 4 consultancies recommended by the Greater South West Energy Hub – the grant awarding body we will be applying to.

– We issued the Invitation To Tender for the Consultancy work on the feasibility study to the companies on our shortlist on 13th. The deadline we set is very tight (25th October) but we have had a positive response from three consultancies already.

– Approached the housing association that manages some of our properties and received a favourable response. 

– -We are close to finalising our application to the Financial Conduct Authority to form a Community Benefit Company. This will give us the legal framework we need to carry out the first part of the project and manage the finances should we be successful in winning the grant. The company will allow us to open a bank account with an ethical bank and could be used more widely for qualifying projects. We hope to be sponsored by Energy4All, the company that manages the day to day operation of the Westmill Co-Op. When this is finalised we will submit the CBS application.

– Fact-Finding visit to The Cotswold Wildlife Park. 

The Park claims to be a UK pioneer in ground source heat pumps, installing the first in 2010 to keep the giraffes warm. It was so successful they installed a larger second system to heat their greenhouses and tropical houses in 2014. Nichola, the financial controller, kindly offered to show us their ground and air source heat pumps and solar installations and answer our myriad of questions. We were particularly impressed by their financial savings (the total financial benefit over 20 years as a result of energy cost savings and grants, and using 3% inflation a year, amounts to just over £490,000) and the reliability of their ground source system in needing no maintenance at all during its first ten years of operation. We took a few photos (below) showing the pumps and hot water tanks. Not exciting to look at but surprisingly quiet – they could barely be heard above their freezers! Also see the photo below showing the site of the groundworks – nothing to see other than the manhole covering the manifolds that collect the pipes. There are 18 x 200m pipe loops buried in the field. The water passes from here under the road to the pump house. Cotswold Wildlife Park is justifiably proud of their system and more than pleased to show it off. Many thanks to Nichola. 

Heat Pump
Site of Groundworks

Hot Water Store

– Started a door-to-door leafleting campaign.

Apologies if we haven’t managed to call on you yet. If you are at all interested in the Project please contact us to let us know – with no obligation or commitment – either : 

e-mail:  energy@greenergreatcoxwell.com

visit :     https://greenergreatcoxwell.com/contact-page/   

To find out more or to send us specific queries visit www.greenergreatcoxwell.com or e-mail energy@greenergreatcoxwell.com.

For general information from Greener Great Coxwell please mail : info@greenergreatcoxwell.com.

Thank you, 

Annabelle Zinovieff, Ken Hirons, Ian Mason, Karen Mason, Margaret O’Donohoe, Richard Benwell, Sophie Stainer, Jacqui Russell

May be an image of 4 people, people standing, indoor and text that says "GREENER GREAT COXWELL roto Rotary CI of Faring www.rotary1090.org B S"


Greener Great Coxwell Community Energy Project – Bulletin 2 – 06/10/2021

Welcome to this follow up to the first Energy Project e-mail sent before the Big Barn Festival. We intend to send periodic progress updates to make sure everyone is kept informed.  

Thank you to everyone who contacted us to show your support, visited us at the Great Barn Festival or completed the interest form on our Website. Response has been good and we are pleased to say as of 5th October we had 23 supporters. However, now we need to gather more support if we are to hit our target to submit our application by 5th November. 

We need 60% of the village – around 70 households to tell us they are potentially interested by the end of October. 

 Expressing an interest is all that is required at this stage.  Your expression of interest does not imply any other obligation or commitment. 

We have taken the first step to applying for funding by submitting the initial pre-Application Questionnaire to the Rural Community Energy Fund on 5th October. 

Over the last few weeks we have: 

– Held a stall at the Great Barn festival;  thanks to everyone who visited us and filled out the interest form there. Thanks to Ainslie and the team at Boxed up Events.

– Attended the Great Big Green Day event in Faringdon where we discussed the proposed project with David Johnson. Again we found a lot of interest.

– Gained unanimous support for the feasibility study from the Parish Council and Support from the District Council.

– Approached relevant landowners around the village including the National Trust and received positive responses from them all. 

– Led a very successful presentation of our project at the ’20 Years of Climate Action in Oxfordshire’ Conference.

– Applied for membership of the Oxford Community Action Group  

– Contacted 6 Energy Consultancies with a view to Inviting To Tender for the work to complete the feasibility study. 

Hopefully you will have seen the Community Energy Banners we erected around the village. Over the next few days we will leaflet the village and would be glad to tell you more about the project or answer any queries. If you are at all interested in the Project please contact us to let us know – with no obligation or commitment – either : 

e-mail:  energy@greenergreatcoxwell.com

visit :     https://greenergreatcoxwell.com/contact-page/   

To find out more or to send us specific queries visit www.greenergreatcoxwell.com or e-mail energy@greenergreatcoxwell.com.

For general information from Greener Great Coxwell please mail : info@greenergreatcoxwell.com.

Thank you,

Annabelle Zinovieff, Ken Hirons, Ian Mason, Karen Mason, Margaret O’Donohoe, Richard Benwell, Sophie Stainer, Jacqui Russell

Greener Great Coxwell Community Energy Project – Bulletin 1 – 15/09/2021

In 2019 the government decided that using Natural Gas for heating and hot water was no longer compatible with their net zero emission commitments for 2050. They therefore announced the intention to prohibit the installation of gas and oil boilers in all new domestic properties from 2025. Eventually all existing gas and oil boilers will be phased out and the Committee on Climate Change (the government’s independent advisor) has said that we will need to install new boilers that use clean hydrogen or electric powered heat pumps. There is currently no detailed plan for either of these possibilities.

The Greener Great Coxwell group has been investigating a community owned, sustainable and secure energy project that would provide heating and hot water for the whole village.

With your support, we believe the objectives of such a scheme could be to –

       • Provide the same temperature of hot water and central heating as your existing oil or gas boiler at less cost.

• Provide a sustainable and reliable supply of renewable heat energy for decades to come. 

• Help to cut the carbon footprint of the village contributing towards the UK’s 2050 Carbon Neutral goals.

The scheme would potentially use a ground source heating system powered by a solar PV installation. Heat distribution would be through an insulated pipe network connected to each participating home via a small heat transfer unit. Similar schemes are common on the continent and several are under construction or in planning locally, for example at North Aston and Upper Heyford in north Oxfordshire and at Swaffham in Cambridgeshire (https://heatingswaffhamprior.co.uk ).  Households not wishing to participate would not be affected in any way.

To  help  with  our  understanding  and  potential  for  such  a  scheme,  we became members of the Low Carbon Hub (https://www.lowcarbonhub.org/), the Oxfordshire organisation working to promote Community based and sustainable energy sources, and the South East Energy Hub (www.energyhub.org.uk), a collaboration of Local Enterprise Partnerships working to support local energy projects in south-east England. The latter provides grants for feasibility studies and business development via the Rural Community Energy Fund, which we would hope to take advantage of. We have also made contact with other projects including Heating Upper Heyford (https://heatupperheyford.wixsite.com/website) and held discussions and taken expert advice from several renewable energy consultants.

All agreed that our scheme is potentially viable and worthy of your consideration and we are therefore writing to you asking for an indication of support from as many villagers as possible to enable us to progress to a grant funded research stage. To support us  please go to our website and complete an expression of interest form at www.greenergreatcoxwell.com or e-mail energy@greenergreatcoxwell.com for more information.  We will be manning a stand at the Great Barn Festival on 18-19th September and on 25th at Faringdon’s Great Green Day in the Faringdon Corn Exchange between 10:00-1:00. Later we will be arranging meetings or Zoom calls to discuss with anyone interested.   

Expressing an interest is all that is required at this stage.  Your expression of interest does not imply any other obligation or commitment.  

At the moment details of a scheme are difficult to predict – the first and second rounds of grant funding are specifically to engage consultants to assess the project’s feasibility, keep the community involved and plan the scheme in detail. However, we have some pointers from existing schemes:

  • Planning would be grant funded so there are no initial costs. The planning procedure would also investigate the most appropriate source of development funding.
  • Our aspiration is that there would be no installation costs and no service or equipment replacement costs. All costs are included in a monthly energy bill which is expected to be lower than current energy costs.
  • The scheme would guarantee heat delivery of 72 degrees in the winter and 62 degrees in the summer which is the equivalent temperature of an oil or gas boiler. This has the advantage of plugging straight into your current hot water central heating systems. Service provision is also guaranteed.
  • The monthly energy bill is made up of a standing charge and metered usage just like electricity or gas.
  • The impact on the community and on the households of the change to the new scheme has been found to be minimal. The change from a boiler to the Heat Transfer Unit (HTU) is completed in a couple of days and the HTU is half the size of an average oil boiler.
  • The solar installation and the boreholes for the heat pump would require a dedicated area of land and a small building to house the pumps and potentially heat storage units (hot water tanks). We would hope to lease this land from local landowners. Once the installation is complete the land would be suitable for use as pasture but the precise area required would depend on the take-up and geological factors that would be researched as part of the feasibility study.
  • The financing model would be investigated during the second, business development round of grant funding. Development costs could come from grant money, loans or investment from community funds and may include investment opportunities for our community.

A comparable but slightly larger scheme is in progress at Swaffham in Cambridgeshire which is expected to sign up 150 households. You can get details of a more advanced project from their website – www.heatingswaffhamprior.co.uk .

We hope you will be interested in this scheme and will support us in seeking a research grant by completing an expression of interest form at the Great Barn Festival, visiting our website at www.greenergreatcoxwell.com  or e-mailing energy@greenergreatcoxwell.com for more information.

Thank you,

Annabelle Zinovieff, Ken Hirons, Ian Mason, Karen Mason, Margaret O’Donohoe, Richard Benwell, Sophie Stainer, Jacqui Russell