Cosy Homes Oxfordshire: the context

Home energy consumption accounts for around 30% of total energy used in the UK, and around 20% of our total carbon emissions. According to Ofgem, the average UK home with a medium energy consumption uses 12,000 kWh of gas per year and 3,100 kWh of electricity per year. That represents total carbon emissions of 3,067kg per year.

Therefore, if we are to meet targets and reduce the threat of climate change, addressing energy use in the home is a good place to start. Plus, making energy efficiency improvements to homes also makes them healthier to spend time in, and more comfortable – cool in the summer and warm in the winter. It’s a win-win.

And that’s where Cosy Homes Oxfordshire comes in, offering a simple solution to retrofitting homes in Oxfordshire.

“We all want to live in homes that are comfortable, healthy without costing the earth. Reducing the energy demand of our homes is a crucial way to help to tackle our carbon emissions, which we need to do urgently. We’re so pleased to be part of this service, working with expert project partners, to enable the people of Oxfordshire to take that step and make their homes cosier, happier and healthier and with a much lower environmental impact.”

Barbara Hammond, CEO, Low Carbon Hub

The pilot phase

Cosy Homes Oxfordshire is currently in a pilot project phase. The project came about as part of a grant call from the UK Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), which would fund projects working to address barriers to develop a market for home retrofit. Cosy Homes Oxfordshire is the result of a grant bid by three partners in Oxfordshire: Low Carbon Hub, National Energy Foundation, and Retrofit Works. The bid was successful and so we are currently funded by BEIS for this pilot phase, allowing us to test and develop the business model until March 2021, when the intention is for Cosy Homes Oxfordshire to be ready to exist as its own entity.

During this pilot phase we are constantly working to monitor and improve the experience for our homeowner clients in order to keep learning and informing the eventual full-scale roll out of this retrofit service. Therefore, if you’ve registered your home with us we’d always love to hear your feedback – drop us an email on info@cosyhomesoxfordshire.org.

We are also working closely with our local community for the pilot phase. Particularly, we are working with 6-10 low carbon community groups across Oxfordshire who are keen to work in the home energy and retrofit space with their local members. Working with these groups has allowed us to roll out the service to those who have an existing understanding of the climate emergency. The groups have been busy sharing information about Cosy Homes Oxfordshire and home retrofit through their social media channels, newsletters, and events.

“There are many benefits from retrofitting old homes such as improving our health, comfort and general enjoyment of the time we spend at home; and all this before we even consider energy savings and lower bills. We are pleased to bring over 30 years of trusted and independent advice on how to improve the use of heat and power in the home through this pioneering project. We are confident that our track record of providing support and encouragement to homeowners will help many families in Oxfordshire to benefit.”

Paul Ciniglio, National Energy Foundation

The project partners

Low Carbon Hub

Low Carbon Hub is an award-winning social enterprise, based in Oxford, that’s out to prove we can meet our energy needs in a way that’s good for people and good for the planet. We are calling for the creation of a new energy system that has renewable generation and energy efficiency at its heart, reducing carbon emissions and making our homes, businesses, and community buildings healthier and more comfortable.

We build community-owned renewable energy projects with schools, communities, and organisations which helps them reduce their energy bills, cuts their carbon emissions and creates long-term funding for further carbon-cutting activity. We are creating a better energy template for Oxfordshire and the whole of the UK.

National Energy Foundation

Established in 1988, The National Energy Foundation is an independent, national charity at the forefront of improving the use of energy in buildings with the aim to give people, organisations and government the knowledge, support and inspiration they need to do so.

This is done through improving new and existing buildings, helping householders save energy and money, providing impartial advice, undertaking research and innovation and tackling fuel poverty. The NEF works with Local Authorities across Oxfordshire to deliver their Affordable Warmth and Better Housing Better Health (BHBH) programmes.

RetrofitWorks

RetrofitWorks is a multi-stakeholder co-operative developed to deliver high-quality retrofits at a fair price to the customer and the contractor whilst ensuring that customers are supported throughout the process by trained Retrofit Coordinators.

RetrofitWorks is owned by and works with community-based organisations to design and host schemes that deliver energy saving and refurbishment works in buildings. Typically these organisations want to drive change but struggle to define that scheme and then organise a local supply chain to deliver it. They want to articulate an exciting retrofit service offer to homeowners, and make it all happen seamlessly and RetrofitWorks helps them do that.