What's the problem?
The UK has committed to net zero carbon dioxide
emissions by 2050, and domestic heating makes up
about 20% of UK carbon emissions.
Most houses in Outwood are heated using oil.
As oil is a fossil fuel, burning it to generate heat contributes to climate change through the release of carbon dioxide, a “greenhouse gas”.
Communities across the UK are seeking ways to heat homes without making global warming worse.
Outwood is a small village - how can it do anything about global warming?
The government set up the £10 million Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF) to help small communities like Outwood explore low carbon heating systems.
Outwood Parish Council was awarded a grant of £36,000 from RCEF and appointed a consortium led by the consultant company Avieco to carry out a feasibility study.
Avieco were chosen after a comprehensive and lengthy selection process by the Sustainable Outwood committee (a sub-committee of Outwood Parish Council).
You can read more about RCEF here:
A village heat network
What happened during the feasibility study?
Avieco, with joint consultants Niras and RPS conducted research in Outwood to get a thorough understanding of village geography and geology, availability of land and site selection, attitudes of residents, technical, financial, business and community benefits of the various renewable energy options.
The Avieco consortium have up-to-date knowledge and experience of similar projects and heating technologies. The consultants ran a regular Focus Group of residents as well as conducting
resident surveys and questionnaires – at all times following COVID rules.
How can I get involved?
The community was kept informed through the Outwood News magazine, Outwood Matters emails, leaflet drops and telephone surveys took place by Avieco
The Outwood Focus Group created broad representation of people from across the whole village.
The group met virtually each month to discuss
progress of the study and to ask questions.
There was a drop-in at the Bell Inn and an online public meeting for Avieco to present their
findings of the study and for residents to give feedback.
This is a project for the community,
by the community!
Results of the feasibility study
Click here for a 2-page briefing note
that summarises the results of the feasibility study
or here for a full copy of the report.
Is Outwood the only village trying to do this?
There are other village communities which have successfully applied for RCEF grants. Swaffham Prior in Cambridgeshire has completed their feasibility study done and is now developing a commercial village heating scheme.
What is a heat network?
Sustainable Outwood committee is in close contact with the Swaffham Prior team who are very willing to share their experience of the process. Indeed, one of the requirements of the RCEF grant is that people share their knowledge with others, to widen learning as much as possible.
The village of Firle is doing a similar project with
Brighton and Hove Energy Services Co-operative.
Click here for the Firle website.
Another village in Cambridgeshire, Grafham, is at a similar stage to Outwood. Click here for information on the
Grafham Going Zero project.
A heat network - sometimes called district heating - is a distribution of insulated pipes that take heat from a central source and delivers it to a number of houses or businesses.
Heat networks provide a unique opportunity to exploit
larger scale - and often lower cost - renewable and
recovered heat sources that otherwise cannot be used.
For more information on heat networks click here.