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Zero Carbon Homes for Oxfordshire

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 Oxford Friends of the Earth Zero Carbon Homes campaign page – Please sign our petition to our local councils

Around 25% of our carbon emissions come from housing. To reduce this we need to
• dramatically improve the energy efficiency of our homes
• ensure that all new houses are built to be carbon neutral.

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

Zero Carbon Homes – Our goals:

Our aim is that all new homes built in Oxfordshire will be designed to zero carbon standards*.

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.  As long ago as 2008 the government proposed a ‘zero carbon homes standard’ but this plan was dropped in 2016.

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

We plan to build and facilitate a collaboration of many stakeholders from different sectors working 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.

* 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/

We need to start developing strategies for achieving this now.

We know this is doable. Previous government policy was to do this by 2016 but after 10 years of development these progressive plans were sadly dropped in late 2015.  Current government plans for a ‘Future Homes Standard’ will not take us to 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

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