Low Carbon West Oxford (LCWO) was set up after the summer floods of 2007 by residents concerned about climate change and local flooding.

It is a community-led initiative, working for net zero and a green, fairer future for all, encouraging residents to live more sustainably, and contributing to a more cohesive and resilient community.

We seek to work in an inclusive manner and ensure that everyone who lives and works in the area has a chance to participate in and benefit from LCWO’s projects.

Our Aims

  • support a fair transition to net zero (read about what ‘net zero’ means here on the blog)
  • help households make energy (and financial) savings
  • reduce traffic
  • promote the consumption of sustainable sources of food
  • reduce waste
  • provide information and support residents, and encourage them to
    take action and share ideas
  • collaborate with other relevant local and national groups and networks
  • encourage local authorities and the government to do more to combat climate change

Carbon Reductions

Over the last decade since we began our work in 2007, LCWO has implemented a number of measures which achieve the following carbon reductions every year:

  • Renewable energy generation: around 190 tonnes of CO2 p.a. from solar, micro hydro and small-scale wind turbines
  • Tree planting: 2000+ trees planted saving ~25 tonnes of CO2 p.a.; plus offers biodiversity benefits
  • Waste reduction: 2 annual Bring & Take events lead to swapping of ~2000 items p.a., and an estimated 1.53 tonnes of CO2 emissions avoided / 1 tonne waste / 740kg diverted from landfill; our Bring & Takes attract ~200 attendees each time
  • Introduction of the car club: 2 cars and a van, 150 members, and around 60 tonnes CO2 p.a. avoided
  • Our Low Carbon Living Programme, helping residents to reduce personal and household carbon emissions, which ran 2010-2013:
    –  150 households signed up
    – Over 140 tonnes p.a. saved by first cohort of 36 households, an incredible average of 36% reduction in emissions in one year;
    – Around 130 tonnes p.a. by subsequent households;
    – A 9-house case study (conducted as part of research project EVALOC) showed houses reduced annual energy by 7%-47% and gas usage by 10% to 7% from 2008-2011


As well reducing CO2 emissions LCWO’s projects also generate social and economic benefits including; financial savings from reduced energy bills, access to expert advice and grants, training, etc.

Other Key Figures

  • 112 households with vulnerable and elderly people at risk from a cold home have been provided with advice and support to save energy and improve the comfort and warmth of their homes
  • DECC-commissioned GKNOP survey in 2011 following Low Carbon Communities Challenges finds a positive and significant increase in environmentally friendly behaviours in West Oxford compared to comparison communities and national figures which can therefore be attributed to community action’e.g. an increase in one year (on 2010 levels) in the proportion of West Oxford residents who:
    – have installed solid wall insulation (4% to 10%);
    – always switch off lights when they leave the room (47% to 67%);
    – strongly disagree that they find it hard to change their habits to be more environmentally friendly (24% to 36%);
    – think they have a very positive impact on the local area (27% to 47%).

We also aim to share good practice with others, as well as influence policy nationally and globally.  More details of what we have achieved to date coming soon.