Press release: OxFutures Project launches free energy audits and funding to small businesses in Oxfordshire to cut their energy bills

The OxFutures partnership project is offering free energy audits to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Oxfordshire to identify energy and cost saving opportunities.

The audit will suggest a range of practical actions that will reduce energy consumption, carbon emissions, and cut energy bills for small businesses across the county.

Through lead partner, the Low Carbon Hub, the project is also offering grants to cover 25% of the costs of installing recommended measures such as insulation and draught proofing, efficient boilers and heaters, LED lighting, powering down appliances and staff engagement and behavioural change. A lot of these actions can have an immediate impact on the energy spend of a business or organisation.

Oxford Brookes, as a partner in the OxFutures project, is carrying out the energy audits. The assessment will consider the actions needed to reduce energy use and create repeated savings for an organisation. Many are at ‘no’ or low cost and are easy to implement. Audit recommendations will be presented with estimated installation costs, financial savings and pay-back-periods, so businesses can prioritise which measures to implement first.

Barbara Hammond, CEO of Low Carbon Hub who are managing the grants for the project said: “An energy audit can lead to significant energy savings for a small business. Implementing energy saving measures can be the gift that keeps on giving as the pay back can be so quick and keeps on saving the business money into the future”.

Michael Esvelt from Oxford Brookes said:

“Even organisations that have made recent energy improvements find speaking to an assessor really useful in developing new, innovative actions that will save them money and improve their environmental impact”

If you are a small or medium sized business and would like to receive a free energy audit, you can contact Low Carbon Hub on 01865 246099 or email or apply online at


About the project

OxFutures is a partnership project funded by the European Regional Development Fund that will develop the low carbon economy in Oxfordshire. Led by Low Carbon Hub working with Oxford City Council, Cherwell District Council, Oxford University, Oxford Brookes University and Bioregional, the three-year project will enable knowledge sharing between academics, local authorities and small and medium enterprises, encourage networks, and offer grants for the development of new products, services and start-ups.



Notes on ERDF

The project has received £1.6 million of funding from the European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.  The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations.  For more information visit


We are looking for a Community Engagement and Feasibility Project Manager for a Local Community Housing project in Hook Norton.

This is a rare opportunity to take a lead role in developing a visionary example of how a rural village can take charge of its own destiny and provide affordable and sustainable housing for those with a local connection to the village.

The post-holder will lead the design and implementation of a requirements survey to identify the real local need for affordable and sustainable housing. Using the survey results, they will then work with other team members to develop site layout and suitable renewable technology options together with detailed implementation plans, costings and financing options to show how this can be delivered through a Community Land Trust with support and involvement of the community as a whole and other relevant bodies.

The post-holder will also work closely with LCH to enable the solution to be scaled and packaged for re-use on other similar developments elsewhere in the county and beyond.

This role will be suited to an energy efficiency and renewable energy professional with strong communication and project definition and planning skills and the relevant technical knowledge and experience to be able to develop new community-led business models around sustainable local housing.

0.6 FTE lead role (average of 3 days/week). There is the potential for the 3 days per week to be split across two individuals.

6-month fixed term initially with potential to extend on a rolling basis.

Principal location of work: Employed by the Low Carbon Hub (LCH) but home-based in North Oxfordshire. Regular visits to Hook Norton area and LCH at 9 Park End Street, Oxford OX1 1HH.

Salary: £30,000 p.a. pro rata plus 3% employer’s pension contribution. Travel expenses are payable in line with LCH policies.

Closing date: Thursday 23 November

Interview date: Thursday 30 November

How to apply:
If you’d like to join our team, the application form for this job is available for download below. To apply, please return your completed application form (also below) by email, along with a copy of your CV, to

Job Description

Application Form