- A round up of news from our Smart and Fair Neighbourhood Trials￼
Our Smart and Fair Neighbourhood (SFN) Trials are looking at how flexibility services and the development of a smart, local energy system can help communities transition to net zero in a way that’s fair and equitable. Here we give a round up what’s happening in the trials at the moment. You can read more about the overarching aims of the trials here.
Springfield Meadows SFN
Springfield Meadows is our newest Smart and Fair Neighbourhood trial aiming to optimise the use of large solar PV arrays on the domestic rooftops of a new housing development in Oxfordshire, in order to maximise generation, deliver a net positive development and mitigate risks to the local network operations. Work continues to find the best solution. Find out more about the trial.
Rose Hill SFN
Rose Hill Solar Saver Trial – 19 flat residents have signed up to take part in the ‘Solar Saver’ trial looking at how people can save money by shifting when they use electricity. We are still in the data collection phase of the trial and are learning about the normal pattern of energy use in the flats. This will feed into the next stage, in which we’ll be asking residents to shift their energy use to times that match the peak generation of the solar panels on the roof. Read more in this news item.
Community mapping – We’ve also been working with the residents of Rose Hill on the ‘participatory mapping’ element of the project that aims to improve the data in the Local Energy Area Mapping Tool (LEMAP) by asking residents to complete a questionnaire about their homes and energy use. The information will then feed into our work developing a roadmap for Rose Hill to become net zero.
Osney Island SFN
A group of households and businesses on Osney Island have signed up with Project LEO to generate and store their own electricity in this SFN now known as ‘Osney Supercharge’. They are installing solar PV panels, battery technology and EV chargers. They will share data on how this reduces demand on the local distribution network. We will also work with residents to understand the impacts and opportunities for small dense urban environments to make the switch to electric vehicles (EVs).
Deddington and Duns Tew SFN
Despite significant interest in the trial, it has proved challenging to get heat pumps installed in homes, in part due to the current cost of heat pumps. By working with homeowners as they go through the process of understanding what is needed to make their homes heat pump ready, we’ve also learned a huge amount about the decision making process. This is all invaluable learning for an innovation trial, but unfortunately means we don’t have as many homeowners able to participate in the full trial.
Smart Flex Heat Pump Trial – as a result of the challenges involved in installing heat pumps in Deddington and Duns Tew, we extended this trial out to cover the wider geography of Oxfordshire in our Smart Flex Heat Pump Trial.
We’ve had an excellent response to the project. For those already with heat pumps installed, we are in the process of working with homeowners to install the communications equipment for their heat pump to enable them to be part of the trial. And for those looking to install a heat pump, our partners at Cosy Homes Oxfordshire are busy helping homeowners get their homes ready and then install the technology.
Eynsham Smart and Fair Futures
Work continues in the Eynsham Smart and Fair Futures (SFF) trial as the team are developing their Zero Carbon Energy Action Plan, setting out a few scenarios locally how the community could make the transition to net zero. That would be across the entire primary substation area which includes Eynsham and other parishes.
Recent activity includes the GreenTEA (Transition Eynsham Area) team, part of the SFF steering group, encouraging residents to feed into consultations for the upcoming review of the Eynsham Parish Council Neighbourhood Plan. This is a vital opportunity for the whole community to shape their future and ensure that a sustainable energy policy is included, linking to the work on the Zero Carbon Energy Action Plan. They are asking people to contribute to make sure that tackling climate change is a core part of the new Plan.