Low Carbon Communities Challenge winners

West Oxford Community Renewables, Oxford

The proposal is to pilot a community renewables building society that will support the development of an integrated approach to low-carbon living in West Oxford. The funding will be used by the West Oxford Community Renewables Industrial and Provident Society to develop a £1.6m pipeline of renewable energy projects. The income from these will be donated to the Low Carbon West Oxford charity to develop low-carbon projects with the aim of achieving an 80% reduction in emissions in West Oxford by 2050.

Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Chale Green, Isle of Wight

The foundation proposes to bring an entire rural off grid community out of fuel poverty, with an integrated approach to reducing carbon. Additional funding is provided by the social landlord to ensure the properties are upgraded to Decent Homes and Ellen MacArthur Foundation is supporting the project management and behaviour change elements of the project. The entire village will benefit from the social improvements and a number of PV installations throughout the estate will feed a community-managed funding initiative to ensure the project continues to support the village improvements for years to come.

Norfolk CC, Reepham, Norfolk

LCCC funding will allow Reepham to reduce its CO2 by 127 tonnes per year by using a community fund to deliver a comprehensive range of projects that target:

  • energy efficient renovation
  • renewables
  • transport
  • behavioural change
  • food initiatives

The Norfolk County Council scheme is replicable and is well supported by partner organisations, committed community leaders and the wider community.

Lammas Low Impact Initiatives Ltd, Pembrokeshire, Wales

Lammas has applied to create a community building that will become a hub for the village and a centre for education on low-impact living for the wider world. The outcome would be a replicable, integrated rural sustainable development model. The project will be delivered using a combination of green technologies, permaculture cultivation methods and natural building techniques.

Transition Town Totnes, Devon

This proposal takes the form of 'Transition Streets', whereby 12 streets across Totnes, chosen so as to represent the demographics and housing stock, undertake a programme of behaviour change called 'Transition Together'. Participants are then eligible to apply for subsidised retrofits and then to a rolling fund for low interest loans for domestic renewables, harnessing feed-in tariffs to enable the repayment of the loans.

The Meadows Partnership, Nottingham

The Meadows Ozone Energy Services is a company formed by local people in the Meadows and has aspirations to change an inner city area with multiple deprivation levels to become an exemplar to other similar inner city communities. The Meadows has a housing stock of approximately 4000 houses with a mixture of housing types including more than 1000 Victorian terraced houses that are hard to insulate. The project seeks to demonstrate that low-carbon savings can help reduce fuel poverty.

Kirklees Council, Huddersfield, Yorkshire

Greening the Gap will involve PV application to three main community centres and 30 domestic houses. This project presents a credible carbon reduction story in a deprived, ethnically diverse area, with a team that has been very successfully in communicating best practice widely.

Haringey Council and the Muswell Hill Low-Carbon Zone, North London

This is an integrated application involving a diverse range of interventions and partner organisations. Muswell Hill sustainability group provides strong community leadership while Haringey Council provides support and resources. The application includes PV installations on four schools to be used as a learning tool and to encourage behaviour change; a mobile sustainable learning facility; cycle parking and a community renewable energy company that aims to gain funding to generate income for carbon reduction measures in the community. Much action is already taking place within the Low Carbon Zone.

Berwick Core Ltd, Berwick upon Tweed

In conjunction with the Berwick Housing Trust, the funding would be spent on a retro-fit renewable programme that will see the installation of photovoltaic panels installed in 50 houses. The revenues due to the electricity generated would feed into a community fund that would be reinvested for further environmental and social programmes. The remaining £50k would go into the Low Carbon Berwick Programme, which will see implementation of a local action plan including behavioural change initiatives for domestic householders and wider environmental initiatives through Berwick that would be aided by a volunteer work force. It is the ultimate aim of the Low Carbon Programme to establish a Berwick Transition Town.

Sustainable Blacon, Chester

Blacon is a suburb of North West Chester adjoining the English/Welsh border. Blacon will champion energy efficiency and refurbish two local houses, so its 16,000 residents can see what they can do to cut their bills and access advice and practical support. It will also bring together local people from across the community to install some of the latest technology in their homes and enable local people to help one another to cut bills and spread good practice through their social networks.


England

Hook Norton, near Banbury, Oxfordshire

The 2500-strong community has been working on reducing its carbon footprint for a number of years. It will spend the money on

  • installing a heat recovery system, solar panels, two community electric pool cars and a ground source heat pump at the local primary school (Hook Norton Church of England Primary School)
  • providing interest free loans for a whole-house retro-fit of six homes
  • insulating 40 homes and installing solar thermal panels on a further 20
  • putting a bio-diesel tank in the local brewery (Hook Norton Brewery) to supply bio-diesel fuel for the vehicles of 50 households.

These activities will provide income back into a rolling low-carbon fund so the community can continue to take action for the next 10 years.

Ashton Hayes, near Chester, Cheshire

Since 2005, Ashton Hayes has been working to become England’s first carbon neutral community and has already cut average household emissions of the 370 homes by 23% since May 2006. It will spend the money on various renewable generation technologies that will power part of the community. This includes a renewable energy CHP plant and solar panel focused on the school. This will link with measures to encourage energy efficiency via real time displays and demand side management.

Easterside in Middlesbrough

A mixed tenure estate of 3250 people, Easterside is among the top 20% of disadvantaged areas in England. The LCCC-funded Eco-Easterside project will save residents money on household bills by reducing energy use. Two wind turbines will be installed in the grounds of Easterside and St Thomas More primary schools, which will in turn generate income for the community from the Clean Energy Cashback scheme. Six hundred homes will be fitted with energy monitors, and householders will be helped to make sure their homes have adequate insulation. Renewable energy systems – solar hot water and air-source heat pumps – will be fitted to 20 homes. Residents will also be encouraged to reduce carbon emissions by using sustainable modes of transport and growing more of their own food.

Halton, near Lancaster

Halton is looking to install a hydro turbine into the River Lune, and three solar roofs. It is also looking to incorporate carbon saving measures in the renovation of Halton Mill, which will provide office and workshop space for local businesses. The profits, generated from the Clean Energy Cashback scheme and from rents, will be ploughed back into further carbon reduction projects such as Halton Energy Network, which will help households reduce their domestic carbon emissions.

Exmoor National Park in Somerset and Devon

The LCCC funding will be used to help fund renewable energy projects such as wood pellet heating and solar installations in six communities that have been participating in community sustainable energy planning. One of those communities (Lynton and Lynmouth) is planning to install a community owned hydropower turbine that will generate an income for the community. The fund will help in raising awareness of the scheme amongst potential investors.

Whitehill-Bordon in East Hampshire

Whitehill-Bordon aims to build on it’s eco-town status by making the money available for people in the form of loans. Residents who take advantage of this will be able to install energy efficiency measures and renewable technologies to save energy and save money.

Ladock and Grampound Road in mid-Cornwall

This proposal aims to upgrade homes, schools, community halls and businesses with a combination of energy efficiency measures and microgeneration technology. The applicants will monitor their progress through smart meters to assess the impacts of behaviour change and renewable energy technologies among project participants and the wider community. Any income from clean energy will be fed back into a community fund for further low-carbon investment. The project will also see the plantation of a nut grove carbon sequestration project and the installation of an electric vehicle charging point.

Northern Ireland

Ballymena

Ballymena intends to build a district heating network based on deep geothermal, biomass and residual heat technologies. This will benefit public buildings, social housing and private residences, and reduce fossil fuel use and fuel poverty.

Camphill Community Glencraig

This application is to install a biomass district heating system using locally sourced wood. This will help to reduce bills and dependence on fossil fuels.

Wales

Cwmclydach, nr Pontypridd, South Wales

Blaenclydach is a former mining village and one of the most deprived areas in Wales. The money from LCCC will help pay for two small hydro turbines in the nearby Cambrian Country Park, which will power two community buildings and, under the Clean Energy Cashback scheme, generate an income for the community.

Awel Aman Tawe Community Wind Farm in Upper Amman and Swansea Valley, South Wales

Fuel poverty is a major concern for the 13,500 people living in the 12 villages spread across Neath Port Talbot, Carmarthenshire and Powys. Planning consent has been secured to put two wind turbines with a capacity of 4MW on the Mynydd y Gwrhyd mountain. This will generate enough electricity to supply the annual needs of about 2000 homes and generate an income for the community as a whole through the Clean Energy Cashback scheme. The community also has plans to open a zero-carbon cafe, allotments and a biodiesel pump in the headquarters car park that can be used by members of the public.

Glogue, Hermon and Llanfyrnach, nr Preselli Hills, Pembrokeshire

The LCCC money will be used to fund two wind turbines, which are calculated to generate around £300,000 per year. The income would be ploughed back into further energy-saving projects.

 

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