October 2020
LCEO newsletter - October 2020

Last chance to vote on the next Low Carbon Hub Communities Director - closing this Thursday

As a Community Member of the Low Carbon Hub CIC, we have a vote in the upcoming election for their new Communities Director - a member of their Board who represents the interests of community groups like us at the Board level.

There are three candidates, and you can get to know them below:

Then vote for your preference using the link below - the candidate with the highest number will be submitted as our vote at the Low Carbon Hub AGM on Saturday 17 October. We're closing the vote this Thursday evening, so this is the last chance to have your say.

Cast your vote

This month at Low Carbon East Oxford 

Tree Week 2020 is just around the corner! 

Running from 28 Nov to 6 Dec the LCEO tree group is keeping it simple and social-distanced this year - we will be encouraging and helping people to plant a tree or two in their own garden.

We'll share more details soon, but for now we're looking for helpers to:
  • help us design a leaflet to promote the planting
  • distribute the leaflet in your street during November
  • donate saplings of native trees to be planted in someone's east Oxford garden.
If you can help please get in touch using the email below.

Email us
Is the climate emergency losing funding at a council level?

Concern has been raised by a number of low carbon community groups across Oxford that there may be budget reductions at Oxford City Council on programmes aiming to reduce carbon emissions.

This month we co-signed a letter to Ed Turner, deputy leader at the Council, about this issue, alongside the other local community groups, asking that crucial climate change programmes remain in the budget and urging the Council to focus on a green recovery from Covid-19, and to 'Build Back Better'.
Do you have photos from previous LCEO events?

The Old Fire Station are working on an exhibition on climate action in Oxford, and Low Carbon East Oxford will be featured.

As part of this, we're looking for photos of people engaged at our LCEO events over the last few years. So, if you've been to one of our events or stalls and have photos from the day, please send them our way to make sure we can include them in the exhibition. 

Email us

What else is happening in Oxford?

Beyond our own work at Low Carbon East Oxford, here's what's happening in Oxford's low carbon community:

  • CAG Oxfordshire announced their next series of 'fresh thinking' workshops to support groups working on climate action. Topics covered range from resilience, to building engagement, to effective storytelling. 
  • Good Food Oxford are preparing for their 7th annual Pumpkin Harvest, aiming to prevent the vast amount of wasted pumpkin around Halloween.
  • Low Carbon Hub have created a virtual tour of the ever-popular Sandford Hydro.
  • The Oxford Library of Things (housed at MakeSpace in Jericho) was featured on the BBC One Show! Plus, they have their next repair cafe on Sunday 18 October.

Spotlight on home retrofit

You may have noticed that home energy and retrofit have been prominent in the news and media this month. That's all down to the launch of the Green Homes Grant right at the end of September - and we've put together some of the highlights in this section.
The launch of the Green Homes Grant 

The Green Homes Grant launched on 30 September, offering homeowners vouchers of up to £5,000 (or £10,000 for low income households) to make retrofit improvements to UK homes.

The key points about the Grant are:
  • Measures must include insulation, heat pump installation, OR solar thermal heating
  • Your building contractors must be Trustmark or MCS certified to be eligible for the scheme
  • Work must be complete by 31 March 2021 to be eligible.
If you're interested, you can find out more and start your application on the Simple Energy Advice website.

Find out more
What retrofit measures make sense in east Oxford?

The majority of our local housing stock in east Oxford is made up of Victorian, solid wall, terraced properties. They usually have suspended timber floors, and probably a substandard loft conversion.

Because of this, the key measure for local homes will be insulation. This could be internal wall insulation, external wall insulation, underfloor insulation, loft insulation - depending on your property, but pretty much every home will benefit from increased or improved insulation. Other measures to consider are:
  • Draught proofing around windows, doors, and floors
  • Secondary glazing and/or conservation windows
  • Upgrading heating controls and old radiators
  • Ventilation to keep damp at bay.
The final Cosy Homes webinar - exploring insulation

Cosy Homes Oxfordshire - a local whole house retrofit service - have been holding a series of webinars this autumn on home energy and retrofit.

The last one is 6-7pm on Tuesday 20 October, and it's a guide to insulation in the home - wall, floor, and roof. The speaker is architect Paola Sassi, who is a Retrofit Coordinator for Cosy Homes, as well as being an Oxford Brookes lecturer and having her own architect practice.

If you missed any of their previous webinars you can also catch up with the recordings on their YouTube channel.

Register for the webinar
Explore your home energy performance with this free tool

If you're curious about what your current energy performance looks like, take a look at this newly launched free online Plan Builder by Cosy Homes Oxfordshire.

You can then also set your priorities and budget, and the Plan Builder will suggest a range of improvements for your home  - which you can then either go off and do by yourself, or submit to the Cosy Homes team for more information and support.

The information in the Plan Builder is based on existing data, so may not be entirely accurate about how you use your home - but it's a great starting point.

Find out more
Government consultation: energy efficiency standards in the private rental sector

The Government are proposing to raise the minimum energy efficiency standards for private rental properties to an EPC C by 2028, as well as shifting the focus to 'fabric first', and are accepting responses until 30 December 2020.

Around half of the housing stock in east Oxford (and 20% nationwide) is private rental, and this makes it difficult for people to make changes to the homes they live in. It's crucial that landlords are kept accountable about the carbon emissions from their homes.

Find out more
Government committee launched: decarbonising heating systems in UK homes

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee have launched an inquiry examining the path to decarbonising heating in homes.

The BEIS Committee will examine the Government’s ‘Buildings and Heat Strategy’, due in November, and investigate the policies, priorities and timelines which are needed to decarbonise heating in residential buildings and help ensure the UK gets on track to deliver Net Zero by 2050.

Find out more

That's it for now!

That's it for this month's newsletter. If you'd like to see something included in next month's newsletter or have an idea for a campaign we could run in east Oxford, send us an email to comms@lceo.org.uk - we'd love to hear from you.

Best wishes,
The Low Carbon east Oxford Team
Copyright © 2020 Low Carbon East Oxford, All rights reserved.

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