March 2, 2017



Project ERIC

ERIC stands for Energy Resources for Integrated Communities. It is a research project part funded by the UK government (Innovate UK) to look at how using innovative energy storage technology could help a group of homes in a community to save energy and it is happening here is Oxford!


Energy Company Obligation


The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is a eco-mapgovernment energy efficiency scheme to help reduce carbon emissions and tackle fuel poverty. It includes the

  • Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO)
  • Carbon Saving Community Obligation (CSCO)
  • Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation (CERO)

Energy suppliers are required to promote and fund works relating to insulation, boiler upgrades and heat networks as detailed below.

eco-graphIf you are a private tenant and you are able to secure appropriate funding, such as funding via ECO, then the landlord cannot unreasonably refuse consent from April 2016. This right is set out in Part two of the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015.

The Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO) (or Affordable Warmth Obligation) requires suppliers to promote the installation of heating qualifying actions, including insulation and the repair and replacement of boilers and electric storage heaters, to people receiving certain benefits and who live in private domestic premises.


You must own your property or rent it privately and have the owner’s permission to do the work.

You must also get one of the following benefits:

  • Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (and your income is £16,010 or less)
  • Working Tax Credit (and your income is £16,010 or less)
  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Universal Credit (and you earned £1,250 or less after tax in any assessment period in the last 12 months)

The Carbon Saving Community Obligation (CSCO) requires suppliers to promote the installation of insulation measures and connections to district heating systems for:

  • areas of low income
  • people receiving certain benefits and living in private domestic premises
  • vulnerable households in rural areas.

The Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation (CERO) means obligated suppliers must promote ‘primary measures’, including roof and wall insulation and connections to district heating systems.

You can benefit from CERO and CSCO if you live in your own home or live in social housing.

You can only benefit from HHCRO if you own your own home or are a tenant in the private rented sector and have the homeowner’s permission.

 Next steps:

You need to find an ECO registered installer. You can contact the Energy suppliers directly and they will point you in the right direction. A few examples are below.

EON – Takes you through to an application page

NPower – Takes you through to an information page

SSE – Takes you through to an information page. Also available: SSE Energyline on 0345 071 9809

EDF – Seems to be a tricky website blurred with lots of commercial offerings but also doesn’t seem to provide you any way of contacting them or registering with them?? I may be wrong but as a competent internet user i keep going round in circles on EDF’s website.

The Cooperative – They require you to e-mail them at:

Scottish Power – ‘Our Home Insulation and Boiler offer is currently closed to any further applications. If you would like us to keep your details and contact you if the offer reopens please send your name, full address including postcode and telephone number.’

British Gas – ‘We have now stopped booking appointments as we’re closing our insulation service on 8 April 2016. We’re sorry for the inconvenience this may cause.’

Once you are passed on to an installer they will come out to measure up and quote. They will then book in a time to visit you and install.

If the company claims to be an installer, always ask to see their credentials. For instance, installers under ECO must be PAS 2030 (Publicly Available Specification) or Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accredited.

More information

Use this tool to assess if you might be able to get CSCO support

Find out more from OFGEM on the ECO

The Energy Saving Advice Service in England:

Phone: 0300 123 1234



There is alot of embodied carbon involved with providing clean drinkable water to your home. Even if your water is not metered you should still try to conserve it.
Thames water offer FREE water saving devices to help you on this journey!

Get on the freebies people!


One of the issues identified when looking at rental housing is that the gardens are regularly poorly maintained and offer no functional use to the occupier.

Gardens can offer plenty of services to the occupier:

  • Visual amenity
  • A place to sit and relax in the summer
  • A diverse habitat for nature
  • A place to grow food
  • A space for play and work on manual projects

We need to preserve these and work with these resources to bring them back into use.

Things you can do:

  • Plant fruit trees (Low maintenance)
  • Dig up an area and grow herbs (Low maintenance)
  • Dig up an area to grow vegetables (high maintenance)
  • Offer up your spare fruit to one of the CAGs who will redistribute it to others for use so it is not wasted.

However, there are also some people that do not have gardens. For those without gardens there is a wealth of CAGs available to get involved with.
Shared Assets



Barracks lane community garden

East Oxford Farmers Community Market/

Feeding the-Gaps

Monday shop

Hogacre common eco-park


Stonehill Community Garden