Great Coxwell Community Energy Bulletins

 

Greener Great Coxwell Community Energy Project Bulletin 9

1. Great Coxwell Community Energy Project Phase one Successful –  Please Complete our Confidential Household Energy Survey 

Our consultants, Locogen, have completed the Phase 1 Report – the desktop assessment of benefits and risks of potentially technically feasible energy schemes. Locogen concluded “there is potential for a heat network in Great Coxwell – hot network solutions are potentially viable”. Next steps for Phase 2 are to model test scenarios comparing those solutions under different heat demand profiles.  To continue this work we now need more detailed information on the energy requirements of the village. We are therefore asking for as many people as possible to complete our brief survey which collects information on energy use and some basic household data. Completing the questionnaire implies no commitment and the information will be strictly confidential to the energy team and the consultants.  Please use the following link to access our on-line survey – time is short so we would appreciate a quick response – apart from the information on energy use (from your energy bill) the questions are very simple and shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. There is also space to add comments.  

Please go to:   https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/L9HZBGX   

2. Greener Great Coxwell Featured in Oxfordshire Climate Action Stories Website Our Community Energy Project has been included in the above ‘Climate Action Stories’ project run jointly by Friends of the Earth and Edinburgh University. We contributed to the Edinburgh research initiative and are featured on the Website under ‘Energy Production’ – see:   

https://www.oxfoe.co.uk/oxfordshire-climate-action-stories


To find out more or to send us specific queries or to be removed from this list 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 Limited is registered in England as a registered society under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014. 

Registration number: 8761

Greener Great Coxwell Community Energy Project Bulletin 8

1.   Greener Great Coxwell featured in the Oxford Low Carbon Hub Community Newsletter – ‘Groups in the News’

Greener Great Coxwell Awarded £33k for Community Heat and Hot Water Feasibility Study  
 It’s fantastic to report that one of our more recent Low Carbon Hub community groups, Greener Great Coxwell, has been successful in its application to the Rural Community Energy Fund for the Phase 1 Community Heat and Hot Water Project feasibility study.  With the help of similar projects, especially Heating Upper Heyford and the Greater SouthEast Energy Hub, and the support of a large number of their residents, an ambitious project to make sustainable and reliable heat available to the whole village has taken a significant step forward. The grant will enable their selected energy consultants, Locogen, to carry out the initial study and recommend the next steps. The steering group said:
 “It is early days yet but we are very excited to receive this grant award for our village. The government has identified Heat Networks as an important option for decarbonising heat and hot water and we are keen to see if we could be early adopters with our community-based proposal. The project would deliver low-carbon, reliable and reduced-cost heat to the village and potentially provide a revenue stream to help us fight fuel poverty and support a range of green projects locally.”

2. Progress on Community Energy Project. 

Work on phase 1 of the project, the desktop feasibility study, is now underway. Locogen will be updating us bi-weekly and we will keep everyone informed of progress. If this phase is successful we will be working with them and will consult as many people in the village as we can. 

We have also contacted David Johnson with comments relevant to his role in the Local Energy Bill and as chair of an All Party Parliamentary Committee on Community Energy. Copy in the Bulletins section of the web site. 

3. Visit to North Aston. 

Greener Great Coxwell energy group were invited to visit a fully operational ground source heat pump installation in North Aston about 12 miles north of Oxford. The project involves seven ground source loops set in trenches approx 1-1.5 metres below ground. Photo 1 (below) below shows the field containing the loops – note all you can see are some of the man-hole covers where the loops are terminated. The field is back to pasture but we were told it could also be cultivated. A water/glycol mixture at -2C is pumped through the loops returning back to the Energy Centre at around 3C (Photo 2). Inside the Centre a row of six boxes (Photo 3), each containing two 300kW heat pumps, boosts the temperature to around 55C for circulation in three loops of insulated pipework that connect to the 24 homes in the project (Photo 4). Loss of temperature in the loops is negligible  – 1 or so degrees over several hundred metres. At each house a heat exchanger uses the circulating water to heat the central heating fluid (via a Heat Transfer Unit – Photo 5). At N Aston these are mounted externally and a small electric immersion heater (small red rectangular box in photo 5)  boosts water again for the hot water system.

Properties in NA are tenanted stone properties having no cavity walls, poor insulation (EPC F-G) and generally no double glazing (Photo 6). N Aston estate are experimenting to see how well the system performs with various amounts of extra insulation – or none. They report good results, even with this low temperature network. The system went live last year.

Note – 

  • the NA scheme is a low energy scheme (55 degrees) whereas GGC will be a high energy scheme (72 degrees) which replicates an oil / gas boiler’s maximum temperature. A high energy scheme removes the requirement for greater insulation levels, double glazing, and potentially bigger radiators
  • the NA scheme is a privately funded scheme and all 27 properties are rented with heat energy costs likely to be incorporated into the rents. The GGC scheme aims to have all capital and build costs funded by grants and residents will only pay for metered heat usage (this would include cover for future costs of maintenance, call outs, replacements etc)
  • the NA scheme has one type of Heat Transfer Unit (HTU) whereas the GGC scheme could provide a choice to suit individual property layouts and current boiler location. HTUs can be configured to be smaller than boilers 
  • the NA scheme is powered by grid electricity whereas if GGC plans to investigate the use of it’s own solar scheme to reduce running costs and to provide greater independence and sustainability

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 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/

Letter to David Johnson from Energy Project 24/02/2022 :

Subject: APPG on Community Energy – Great Coxwell RCEF Grant Success

Hello David,

APPG on Community Energy – Great Coxwell RCEF Grant Success

We are writing on behalf of the Energy group from Greener Great Coxwell – a village near Faringdon in your constituency.

Firstly we wanted to thank you for your excellent Climate Call last July 1st, for sponsoring the Local Energy Bill and look forward to hearing more from your Chairing of the APPG on Community Energy.

We have been working on a proposal for a Community Owned District Heating-type system for our village. You may remember visiting our stand at the ‘Big Green Day’ in Faringdon’s Corn Hall last year and taking some of our leaflets. Energy networks are one of the three approaches the government’s ‘Green Industrial Revolution’ proposes to replace our gas and oil boilers for heat and hot water, and we are hoping to be an exemplar for other rural groups – many of which have expressed an interest in our progress. The great news is that we have just been awarded £33k to fund a Feasibility study for the project by Greater South East Energy Hub on behalf of the Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF). More details on our Website at greenergreatcoxwell.com.

If the outcome of our feasibility study is positive we will need to develop a business model.  It is already apparent that further success of our particular project will depend on us overcoming a range of difficulties.  We would ask that your committee consider the following issues: 

  • More support is required to help develop Community Energy Schemes – currently there is an RCEF phase 2 but that will not cover the costs of building a viable scheme and further funds are unlikely to be available from commercial sources.
  • Currently the Green Heat Network Fund would finance a maximum 50% of a qualifying project – financing the rest from commercial sources will need help given the long payback period and other risks involved.
  • Insulation must be a priority and a better replacement for the Green Homes Grant than the Homes Upgrade Grant is important for a wider range of households. 
  • We would strongly urge the government to progress the local energy bill or some other vehicle to free small local energy suppliers from unfair regulations and disproportionate costs. 
  • We also strongly support the pioneering (and local) LEO project to promote local and peer-to-peer small scale ‘edge’ energy generation. 

We are aware of similar projects further north in Oxfordshire eg. Upper Heyford, North Aston and wind / solar projects much nearer home, but wonder if you have been made aware of any others with whom we might share experiences?

Thanks again for your championing of these vital causes, we look forward to the results of the APPG and hope to meet with you again sometime soon.

Yours Sincerely, 

Ken Hirons,  Annabelle Zinovief  for Greener Great Coxwell Ltd.

Greener Great Coxwell Community Energy Project – Bulletin 7 

Greener Great Coxwell Awarded £33k for Community Heat and Hot Water Feasibility Study 

We are really excited to report that Greener Great Coxwell has been successful in our application to the Rural Community Energy Fund for the Phase 1 Community Heat and Hot Water Project feasibility study.  With the help of similar projects, especially Heating Upper Heyford and from the Greater SouthEast Energy Hub, and the support of a large number of our residents, we proposed an ambitious project to make sustainable and reliable heat available to the whole village. This grant will enable our energy consultants, Locogen, to carry out the initial study and recommend the way forward. 

This is against a background of rapidly escalating energy costs (by av. 54%) , and recent recommendations to the Business Energy and Industrial Strategy by their own committee that phasing out of gas boilers should be brought forward. For new installations that could mean a ban from 2023.  The government has made some new funding available for heat pumps and also some for Heat Networks. Our MP – David Johnson – is the main sponsor of the ‘Local Energy Bill’ and later in the month is to chair an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Community Energy. We will be contacting David with our input. The Bill is relevant to us if we become energy producers and sounds promising but it is a Private Member’s Bill and as such has little chance of getting onto the statute book. Similarly, APPGs can really only serve to raise an issue’s profile. Our feeling is that heat networks need further help after RCEF Stage 2 to get to the point of having a viable scheme and also more help from the Green Heat Network Fund. But this is well into the future.

For our next Steps – the process is described by Locogen – 

The feasibility project will be undertaken in two phases. The first of these involves a desktop assessment of the project locations to assess  the local requirements, opportunities and constraints. This will allow viable energy technologies  to be identified and matched with local heat demand. The options identified will be presented to the group in the form of a first-pass feasibility report, and Locogen will provide support via a  follow up discussion to assist the group in selecting the energy system(s) to take forward for  detailed assessment in the second phase. In this next phase, Locogen will perform detailed  energy modelling and costing exercises utilising a dataset of current heat costs within the area,  in order to generate financial and carbon assessments of the preferred energy system(s).  Alongside this, planning and grid issues will be reviewed and a risk register will be generated.  The key deliverable from this work will be an RCEF Stage 1 feasibility report including a high  level financial model and business plan that provides the group with all the information required  to make an investment decision and proceed to detailed design of a cost-effective energy system  that is technically and logistically viable.

We hope that as many of our community as possible will be involved in the more detailed second phase – we know from talking with many of you that we are fortunate to have a huge depth of expertise and many great ideas, and we hope as many as possible will participate. We will need this to make the next phases a success. Any more ideas, concerns or expressions of interest would be most gratefully received. 

We will keep villagers who expressed an interest informed by e-mail and will copy the village e-mail. We will be meeting with the consultants in the next few days and expect the desk-based study to start soon. 

If you know someone who is not on the list but who would like to be receive this ‘interested’ e-mail bulletin, please contact us at the e-mail below – similarly let us know if you would like to be taken off the list.

Find out more about the project at: http://www.greenergreatcoxwell.com

Contact: energy@greenergreatcoxwell.com

For general information from Greener Great Coxwell please mail : info@greenergreatcoxwell.com.
You can find these Energy 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 6 


1. Community Group of the Month

Greener Great Coxwell has been chosen to be the Low Carbon Hub Community Group of the month for December. Please go to the link below for more details.

https://www.lowcarbonhub.org/p/community-group-of-the-month-greener-great-coxwell/

This award is mainly concerned with the heating project but recognises the wide range of interests of the group as a whole.


2. Cosy Homes  Presentation
If you were not able to attend the recent Cosy Homes retrofit scheme presentation by project manager Geordie Stewart and would like to get more information, you can viewing a recording by clicking on the link here:
https://lowcarbonhub.box.com/s/j9h8o9xakmupvh6ofkob3s7ci71vuzsw


3. Community Benefit Company
As of the 9th of December, Greener Great Coxwell has been approved and registered with the FCA as a Community Benefit Society.  This gives us the legal entity we need to move forward with the energy project but it covers all our other activities as well. We will shortly send more details and hope as many villagers as possible will be interested in becoming members.    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 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. 
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               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

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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