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Oxfordshire Zero Carbon Homes Initiative

Oxford Friends of the Earth is a thriving and effective local group that has been active for over 40 years. Our purpose is to work together to promote a healthy and sustainable environment

Welcome to the Oxfordshire Zero Carbon Homes Initiative

Around 25% of our carbon emissions come from housing. As part of moves to ‘Net Zero’ carbon emissions we need to
• dramatically improve the energy efficiency of our homes
• ensure that all new houses are built to be carbon neutral.

The Oxfordshire Zero Carbon Homes Initiative (OZCHI) has the aim that all new homes built in Oxfordshire will be designed to zero carbon standards*.

As a first step OZCHI is carrying out a survey of people and organisations working on housing design, construction and management to understand current issues and concerns. If you are involved in housing please take a few minutes to complete our survey [This will be launched c. 12 Dec.]

OZCHI is a partnership between Oxford Friends of the Earth, Greencore Construction, and BioRegional (include weblinks) (and others).  It is supported by other organisations – see below. We invite you to join us.  There is a Briefing on what we are planning to do available here

Current plans for Oxfordshire include up to 100,000 new homes. If new homes (however many are finally built) continue to waste energy (as most new homes will at present) then they are making the climate crisis worse.   We need every new home to be zero carbon. This is technically feasible – what it needs is the political will.

The retrofitting of existing homes is equally important and is being addressed elsewhere. Our current focus is on new homes – the scope could be extended to all buildings over time.

Making change happen. We plan to develop collaboration of organisations from different sectors to work together to co-create a new system for planning, designing and building zero carbon homes that can be applied in Oxfordshire initially and which provides a blueprint for others to follow.

We need to start developing strategies for achieving this now.

We know this is doable. As long ago as 2008 the government proposed a ‘zero carbon homes standard’ but this plan was dropped in 2016. Current government plans for a ‘Future Homes Standard’ will not take us to Net Zero Carbon soon enough.

It is happening (but too slowly!)  Zero carbon homes are already being built in Oxfordshire. The Springfield Meadow development near Southmoor is an excellent example including both private and social housing properties.

Other case studies from Oxfordshire and around the UK are available here:  ZCH Case Studies

We recently launched Fast Forward Oxfordshire which sets out a path to Zero Carbon Oxfordshire by 2040.

If you are new to these issues please download:

  • our introductory leaflet here:
  • Our Zero Carbon Homes questions and answers (which also tackles some current myths about zero carbon homes)
  • If your organisation supports our aims please support us! Contact us via…

* The definition of zero carbon we are using (as a minimum standard) includes the construction and in use carbon based on the UK green buildings council framework definition as set out in April 2019 – https://www.ukgbc.org/ukgbc-work/net-zero-carbon-buildings-a-framework-definition/

Join our work on this!

The success of this initiative will rely on the collaboration of stakeholders from different sectors working together. As a first step we are looking to reach out to those stakeholders to ask them for help. We need your support to do this.

We need you to write to your local councilors and ask them to make the building of zero carbon homes a planning priority in Oxfordshire and to introduce planning legislation that supports it.

As a first step please sign our petition to the five Oxfordshire councils responsible for new housing.

We need you to help us identify key stake holders whom we should contact. Are you, or do you know someone who is:

  • An expert in zero carbon technology
  • A planner
  • An architect
  • A developer
  • A builder
  • A representative of a housing association
  • Others working on homes and buildings

Please get in touch with us via the email address: homes(at)oxfoe.co.uk