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Oxfordshire consortium wins government contract to launch energy efficiency service for local businesses

In Oxford, our buildings are responsible for the largest proportion of our annual carbon emissions – as outlined in the Oxford’s Citizen’s Assembly on Climate Change in September 2019.

The buildings sector should adopt improved building standards, widespread retrofitting, and more domestic and non-domestic energy needs being met by sustainable sources.

OXFORD CITY COUNCIL’S REPORT ON THE CITIZEN’S ASSEMBLY

OxFutures lead partner, Low Carbon Hub, is bringing an exciting new service to Oxfordshire, designed to help local enterprises in Oxfordshire to tackle this problem. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are often keen to undertake energy efficiency work, but struggle to find the time outside of their day-to-day activities and have concerns about upfront costs – this project aims to make things simple, and to remove financial risk with finance opportunities and guaranteed savings.

The activity in Oxfordshire forms part of a wider project, led by EnergyPro. EnergyPro believe that the best way to engage SMEs with energy efficiency work is through trusted, local support – equipping local community-based organisations with the knowledge and tools to deliver energy efficiency projects for SMEs, based on internationally established good practice. EnergyPro are working to develop this toolkit, or ‘operating system’, with the aim of rolling it out on a National scale.

Oxfordshire will be the pilot area, which is where the Low Carbon Hub come in – supporting delivery. This will involve the creation of a new company in Oxfordshire during 2020, a Community Energy Service Company (CESCO), hosted by the Low Carbon Hub, which will begin serving local SMEs immediately. This CESCO will:

  • Help businesses to identify areas where they could improve energy efficiency, and therefore cut their energy costs – led by the team at Oxford Brookes
  • Deliver these measures, using tried and tested installers (with financing options available for SMEs who do not have available capital)
  • Measure and verify the savings created by these measures.

If successful, EnergyPro ultimately plan to license this ‘operating system’ to community-based organisations in communities across the UK who can serve SMEs in their local area. This will create a national network of ‘one-stop-shops’, supporting SMEs with energy efficiency.

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