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Eynsham Smart and Fair Futures

Smart and Fair Neighbourhood Trial

The Eynsham Smart and Fair Neighbourhood trial is aiming to develop a Zero Carbon Energy Action Plan for the Eynsham primary substation area as well as develop plans for its long-term governance structure.


The Eynsham area has a huge amount of new housing development in the works. There are 2,200 new homes planned plus a business park and park and ride in the area north of the village now named ‘Salt Cross’ (formerly Oxfordshire Cotswold Garden Village). A further 1,000 homes are to be built in the West Eynsham Strategic Development Area.

These new developments are driving a local ambition to develop zero carbon energy plans.

Aim of the trial

The Eynsham Smart and Fair Futures project aims to develop and extend the Energy Plan originally developed for Salt Cross to cover the whole of the Eynsham Primary Substation Area – the local electricity network for the area – to create an Eynsham Area Energy Action Plan.

We also hope to develop the long-term stewardship structures whereby the community can ensure that this Energy Action Plan reaches the goal of a zero carbon energy system in advance of 2050.

What we hope to do

There are a series of stages and objectives involved in this trial:

  1. Develop a Zero Carbon Energy Action Plan for the whole Eynsham Primary Substation Area to include: old Eynsham, Garden Village, West Eynsham, Freeland, Church and Long Hanborough, Eynsham Hall and part of South Leigh parish.
  2. To develop the long-term stewardship proposals to govern the Zero Carbon Energy Action Plan, including its resourcing plan, whereby the community can ensure that the Energy Action Plan for Eynsham reaches the goal of a zero carbon energy system in advance of 2050.
  3. To develop proposals and business models to bridge the gap between current planning proposals for Salt Cross and the zero-carbon goals of the draft Area Action Plan
  4. To ensure the community:
    a. Benefits from the development and can influence the quality of development
    b. Benefits from potential community owned renewable energy development
    c. Is offered action-orientated pilot programmes that will help people understand how they can take part in the energy transition, particularly around household retrofitting to improve energy efficiency and EV charging infrastructure.

What we hope to learn?

Through this trial, we hope to learn…

  • How we may be able to use local large-scale renewable energy projects to provide a range of flexibility and energy services including:
    • ‘Authorised supply capacity trading’ – where one customer contracts with another to buy and sell grid capacity, either import or export so that one of them can exceed their own grid connection limits because the other agrees not to use theirs
    • Matching a local increase in demand to enable you to then increase the amount of local generation at an agreed time, so that the net combined demand doesn’t exceed the local capacity that the network can cope with.
  • How to deal with the housing developer wanting to minimise construction costs, but having no incentive to minimise running costs, and the occupier wanting to minimise both
  • How the community can see the benefit of the new development and influence its quality
  • How the community can benefit from any renewable energy development in the area and have a long-term say in the development and management of such projects
  • How fairness can be included to ensure that local people can be involved in achieving high-quality new development
  • How we can improve the financial models for existing major renewable energy projects and develop new community business models
  • How we can bridge the gap between current ‘Business as Usual’ planning and housing models and new models which will become the future ones needed to meet the Climate Emergency.

Who is involved?

Transition Eynsham Area (GreenTEA), the local low carbon group and founding community shareholder of the Low Carbon Hub CIC, are chairing the Local Steering Group working closely with the Low Carbon Hub in developing and implementing this trial. Also on the steering group are representatives of West Oxfordshire District Council and some of the local parish councils.

“GreenTEA got involved with Project LEO because we have been working with Low Carbon Hub over the years to bring local benefits from community energy and this is a chance to take the next step. We are faced with massive development around Eynsham, including a ‘Garden Village’, so saw Project LEO Smart and Fair as an opportunity to tap into Oxfordshire‘s amazing innovation skills to shape the future of community based energy planning. The project builds on the net zero carbon aspiration of the ‘Garden Village’ to bring long term benefits to Eynsham as a whole, old and new, and accelerate our response to the climate emergency”

transition eynsham area (greentea)
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