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LCWO is in the process of exploring heat networks, and trying to establish whether one might be an effective and viable option for West Oxford. To help us in our thinking, we have organised a discovery evening with Emma Fletcher, who established and led the UK’s first fossil fuel-free district heating scheme in her village, Swaffham Prior.

We are also hoping to hear from members of the team leading on an Oxfordshire scheme, Heat Upper Heyford.

This event is open to fellow community groups who are curious about heat networks, and would like to explore them as part of their locality’s energy future. It should be a great opportunity to hear about how heat networks work, Emma’s experiences of getting one going, and the chance to ask questions and connect with others who are exploring similar things.

We are running this event in partnership with Low Carbon Hub.

Useful information:

Heating Swaffham Prior

Heat Upper Heyford

About Emma:

Emma is just about to start a new role as Low Carbon Housing Director at Octopus Energy having formerly been Regional Development Director at Hyde, one of the largest Housing Associations in England with over 50,000 homes. Her career has centred on leading high impact, high innovation projects in real estate, with a particular focus on housing, energy performance and green energy production. Her practical experience includes starting her career in rural surveying and estate management through to leading award-winning housing and regeneration developments.

Emma established and led the UK’s first fossil fuel-free district heating scheme in her village, Swaffham Prior, alongside previous roles as Managing Director at Evera, a partnership of four Housing Associations, and as Managing Director at SmithsonHill, where she led the planning application for a £500m agritech and innovation development. Her work leading improved sustainability outcomes for her community regularly features in trade, national and international press and media including The Times, Sunday Times, Sky and the BBC.

She is a passionate advocate for change, community resilience and sustainability solutions for all, both in her professional roles and in community organisations in and around Cambridge, where she has lived since studying Land Economy at the University of Cambridge. Current positions include Chair of a Community Land Trust, as a trustee for the Cambridge Forum for the Construction Industry and grounds trustee at Cambridge University Rugby Club.

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