£1m grant to cut energy bills is a perfect 'green' festive present

Oxford Mail: City councillor John Tanner in front of some residential solar panels. Picture: OX56335 Richard Cave Buy this photo City councillor John Tanner in front of some residential solar panels. Picture: OX56335 Richard Cave

A green funding boost of more than £900,000 will help people in some of Oxfordshire’s most hard-up areas cut their energy bills.

The money will also help fund the hydro-power plant residents plan to install in the River Thames beside Osney Lock.

Oxford is one of only nine areas in Europe and the only one in the UK to be awarded the £930,000 in grant funding from the European Agency on Competitiveness and Innovation (EACI).

Areas such as Barton, Rose Hill and Blackbird Leys could now benefit from a scheme which has been trialled in 100 homes in Barton. Residents were offered measures to improve insulation, boilers, smart meters, solar panels and others steps to help tackle fuel poverty.

Environmental sustainability manager at Oxford City Council Jo Caulwell said budget shortages had led the authority to seek more private investment.

About 70 per cent of the money will go to the city, and about 30 per cent will go to other programmes in the county.

She said: “This is about reaching people who are below the breadline, are in poverty and really do need help.

“You could see solar PVs on the roof of your community centre later in the year.

“The money will be kept in the community and spent on what the people want.

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“We will also be looking to raise funds by joining partnerships. We want people who are willing to invest.”

Barbara Hammond, director of the Low Carbon Hub, said one such project set to benefit was the micro-hydro scheme on Osney Island.

The scheme, which would provide enough power for up to 50 homes, caused concern among residents about the felling of trees on the site, next to Osney Weir, but a public consultation at the weekend came out in favour of the plans.

Ms Hammond said: “The Oxford area has been chosen to receive this funding because we have already shown how community energy can work – now we can go further and faster.

“By making these schemes a reality in Oxfordshire, we can inspire others across the UK to do the same.”

Oxfordshire County Council will attempt to make larger scale renewable energy projects a reality on public buildings across the county such as schools and libraries.

City councillor John Tanner, board member for a cleaner, greener Oxford, added: “This is a fantastic Christmas present for Oxford and our low carbon future. The city council will work with the Low Carbon Hub and the county council to create community-based renewable energy projects.

“This European funding will mean lots more hydro, ground heat, solar and wind projects in the Oxford area.”

  • For more information on how to join or create your own low carbon community group log on to lowcarbonhub.org

Comments (7)

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9:11pm Wed 19 Dec 12

Andrew:Oxford says...

Oh, that'll do.

If someone is prepared to pay for me to have solar panels installed on my south-facing roof, and allow me to receive all of the income at zero cost to myself - I'd be quite happy.
Oh, that'll do. If someone is prepared to pay for me to have solar panels installed on my south-facing roof, and allow me to receive all of the income at zero cost to myself - I'd be quite happy. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 0

1:10am Thu 20 Dec 12

Myron Blatz says...

Would that be Oxford's 'Eco Jester' popping into yet another photo-shoot, or one of Santa's little helpers?
Would that be Oxford's 'Eco Jester' popping into yet another photo-shoot, or one of Santa's little helpers? Myron Blatz
  • Score: 0

11:55am Thu 20 Dec 12

King Joke says...

Andrew:Oxford wrote:
Oh, that'll do. If someone is prepared to pay for me to have solar panels installed on my south-facing roof, and allow me to receive all of the income at zero cost to myself - I'd be quite happy.
NOt quite that good Andrew, but someone will put panels on your roof, keep the the FIT and you will get the free power. It's called roof rental. Ask your energy supplier.
[quote][p][bold]Andrew:Oxford[/bold] wrote: Oh, that'll do. If someone is prepared to pay for me to have solar panels installed on my south-facing roof, and allow me to receive all of the income at zero cost to myself - I'd be quite happy.[/p][/quote]NOt quite that good Andrew, but someone will put panels on your roof, keep the the FIT and you will get the free power. It's called roof rental. Ask your energy supplier. King Joke
  • Score: 0

5:47pm Thu 20 Dec 12

Andrew:Oxford says...

King Joke wrote:
Andrew:Oxford wrote:
Oh, that'll do. If someone is prepared to pay for me to have solar panels installed on my south-facing roof, and allow me to receive all of the income at zero cost to myself - I'd be quite happy.
NOt quite that good Andrew, but someone will put panels on your roof, keep the the FIT and you will get the free power. It's called roof rental. Ask your energy supplier.
Nah, I don't want to rent out my roof to anyone...

Just give me the free panels and installation thanks.
[quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Andrew:Oxford[/bold] wrote: Oh, that'll do. If someone is prepared to pay for me to have solar panels installed on my south-facing roof, and allow me to receive all of the income at zero cost to myself - I'd be quite happy.[/p][/quote]NOt quite that good Andrew, but someone will put panels on your roof, keep the the FIT and you will get the free power. It's called roof rental. Ask your energy supplier.[/p][/quote]Nah, I don't want to rent out my roof to anyone... Just give me the free panels and installation thanks. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 0

8:40pm Thu 20 Dec 12

parvinder msvarency says...

Barbara Hammond, director of the Low Carbon Hub, said one such project set to benefit was the micro-hydro scheme on Osney Island.

Yep Osney Island average house price £600,000, definately one of the most deprived areas of Oxford, and the house Mr Tanner is pictured with is also not a council house. Bad choice of examples
Barbara Hammond, director of the Low Carbon Hub, said one such project set to benefit was the micro-hydro scheme on Osney Island. Yep Osney Island average house price £600,000, definately one of the most deprived areas of Oxford, and the house Mr Tanner is pictured with is also not a council house. Bad choice of examples parvinder msvarency
  • Score: 0

8:38am Fri 21 Dec 12

King Joke says...

THey haven't built any panels on the council houses yet. THe OM can't afford a time machine, so for the moment we'll just have to make do with a picture of an existing solar panel. I hope that's OK with you Pavinder.
THey haven't built any panels on the council houses yet. THe OM can't afford a time machine, so for the moment we'll just have to make do with a picture of an existing solar panel. I hope that's OK with you Pavinder. King Joke
  • Score: 0

5:11pm Sat 22 Dec 12

Sophia says...

The small coterie of green nutters in west oxford get yet another toy to play with - all at taxpayers expense of course. Never mind that it is incontrovertible that £1m spent on insulation would get a better return in lowering bills than a tiny hydro scheme. Never mind they say, hydro is 'free' energy. No its not - its just cost us £1m and god knows how long it'll last and what it'll cost to maintain. Thats £20,000 per home! Better to GIVE them the money

And why is £1m being given to reduce fuel bills in one of the better off areas of the city?
The small coterie of green nutters in west oxford get yet another toy to play with - all at taxpayers expense of course. Never mind that it is incontrovertible that £1m spent on insulation would get a better return in lowering bills than a tiny hydro scheme. Never mind they say, hydro is 'free' energy. No its not - its just cost us £1m and god knows how long it'll last and what it'll cost to maintain. Thats £20,000 per home! Better to GIVE them the money And why is £1m being given to reduce fuel bills in one of the better off areas of the city? Sophia
  • Score: 0

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