A UNIQUE project to provide 'clean energy' to people in Rose Hill has been praised by judges of a national award.

Project ERIC – Energy Resources for Integrated Communities – won the residential energy project of the year category at the 2016 Energy Awards.

The scheme, which was launched in the estate in March 2015, saw solar panels and batteries installed in homes.

The houses were then linked together to form a renewable energy grid, with any excess energy generated stores in the batteries for later use.

ERIC – a collaboration between Moixa Technology, Bioregional, Oxford City Council, Oxford Brookes, GreenSquare, JoJu Solar, Re-energise, British Gas and SSEN – was also highly commended in the innovation energy project of the year category.

Project leader Andy Edwards of Bioregional – a company that promotes more sustainable living –said: "It was fantastic to win, we were delighted.

"It is great news for Rose Hill and it reaffirms that the estate's community is at the forefront of innovation and energy, which is great.

"This project is something interesting and special.

"It is nice for the project, as well as Rose Hill and Iffley Low Carbon Group and the city council, who have been very supportive.

"It is nice that their hard work and trust in us has been validated."

Since the scheme began solar panels and battery packs have been installed in more than 80 homes, as well as the estate's primary school and new community centre.

An electric car club is also part of the research and demonstration project.

Mr Edwards said the next step could be to expand into home heating.

He said: "We have been doing some research and we are exploring doing heating in the community.

"That would see households heated from heat in the ground and heat pumps.

"We are really lucky having the low carbon group.

"They are very enthusiastic and supportive and we are pleased to have a good relationship with them."

Project ERIC received £1.2m from the Government through its innovation agency Innovate UK and its lead academic partner is Oxford Brookes.

Following the awards ceremony in London on November 30 Oxford Brookes director of the Low Carbon Building Group and Oxford Institute of Sustainable Development Professor Rajat Gupta said: "We are delighted to have won and be named highly commended in the Energy Awards which are highly regarded in the industry.

“The awards have provided fantastic recognition for the hard work of the Project ERIC team and also raises awareness about the opportunities for community energy sharing schemes."