Update, summer 2020:
The ACT Now Programme is now in its eighth month, and though it has been a little disrupted by COVID-19, we will be hosting further workshops online in the autumn. Upcoming workshops include the 3 last workshops listed below, which were postponed due to Coronavirus (‘Talk about it’; ‘How to talk to kids’; and ‘Maximising leverage’), as well as repeats of the Waste, Food and Home Energy workshops in partnership with other community action groups. Home energy assessments are now complete for this programme, so please note that if you sign up now, you will not have access to that, or the £100 grant. However, you are still welcome to sign up if you’d like to join a growing group of like-minded people and receive additional support e.g. to do your carbon footprint, emails etc.
Introducing the West Oxford ACT Now Programme
- A one-year programme open to all West Oxford residents, empowering you to take effective action to combat the climate emergency together today
- Up-to-date expert guidance on ways to radically reduce your individual carbon footprint, through a series of optional monthly workshops and additional activities based on our ‘5 things we can all start doing now’ campaign (now 6!)
- Receive a free, personalised home energy assessment and report, with small measures implemented during the visit, and guidance regarding larger measures appropriate to your home and lifestyle – followed by access to in-house grants, guidance on external funding and support with implementation of large energy reduction measures in the home through Cosy Homes Oxfordshire
- Discover ways to engage further in the climate response, identifying opportunties for maximum impact in the short amount of time we have to respond to the climate emergency
- Meet, share and work with like-minded neighbours in a non-judgemental and supportive atmopshere
- Improve your own energy literacy, with carbon footprints, meter readings and the opportunity to participate in the latest Oxford University research
- Cookery workshops, learn how to talk to kids about climate change, save money, have fun and get ACTIVE and be EFFECTIVE through our pick-n-mix series of workshops, activities and events
I fly regularly and drive a car, and that's not about to change. Is ACT Now for me? I'm worried I'll be judged.
ACT Now is for everyone in West Oxford, whether your lifestyle is ‘squeaky green’ or not. The lifestyle and behaviour-focussed parts of the programme will be conducted in an informative and non-judgemental way, and no individual(s) pressured into sharing anything with others that they would rather not, including any recent airmiles.
Given that many aspects of a more environmentally friendly lifestyle can prove challenging to people for different reasons, the aim of the programme is to support people with making changes where they can, but we will also maintain a focus beyond individual lifestyle choices, discovering and exploring other points of leverage available to West Oxford residents in the fight against climate catastrophe.
The new ACT Now Programme is for West Oxford residents and nearby neighbours.
Can i join the ACT Now programme if I live outside the Low Carbon West Oxford membership boundaries?
Yes, though if enrolement is high, priority will be given to those residing within LCWO’s boundaries – map here.
For participants from outside the LCWO boundaries, we are unable to offer the £100 grant. The FREE household energy assessment, worth £100, is available to those living outside the charity boundaries, on the proviso that local residents are given priority if demand is high. We do not anticipate this being a problem. The rest of the programme is the same.
Can I sign up to the programme if I have already done a LCWO programme (e.g. Street by Street; Low Carbon Living) in the past?
Yes, do. This programme is open to all, and its pic-n-mix structure is constructed with different levels of past experience and engagement in mind. If you think you’re up-to-date on a particular area of action (e.g. food), you can skip the workshop, as the workshops are not compulsory. That said, each workshop will have new information, opportunities for action and be different from any past workshops, so you might want to come along anyway.
Grants will also be available to households who have benefited from them before.
Free energy assessessment visits will not be repeated at homes which completed one as part of the recent Street by Street programme, unless significant work has been undertaken at the property since the last visit (this will be decided on a case-by-case basis).
This programme seems focussed on my individual lifestyle, but I understand we need to be doing more to combat climate change effectively in the time we have
This programme builds on the successes and learning from our previous individual lifestyle focussed programmes, the Low Carbon Living and Street by Street programmes, as well on our ‘5 things we can all start doing right now’ campaign (now firmly 6 things!), launched in repsonse to the 2018 IPCC report.
However, it has become clear that the climate emergency demands urgent action at a much deeper level. A green lifestyle and low carbon footprint is important, but it should not be a replacement for or distraction from taking further action. For a fuller outline of this deeper or second type of engagement, head over to the blog here – ‘Bill McKibben calls on us to find our point of maximum leverage’, June 2019.
With this in mind, our ACT Now programme will cover individual lifestyle across the 6 key areas outlined by the most recent IPCC report. It will also support and enable participants to identify their own highest leverage points of influence and leverage (be it through direct action, lobbying, divestment, XR…).
A major part of the programme will be to bring West Oxford’s community together to put pressure where it is most likely to yield big results in a short amount of time.
I see the workshops and activities are 'pick-n-mix'. Are any parts of the programme compulsory if I enrol?
The programme of activities and events has been designed to allow you to select the parts which hold most relevance and interest for you. To participate fully in the programme however, and to be eligible for grants and a free energy assessment visit, you will need to attend the first workshop, complete the relevant questionnaires at beginning and end and complete the carbon footprints.
No. The workshops will be open to all, with priority given to ACT Now programme participants – so, depending on space, you may still get a place for a workshop without joining the programme. Those not enrolled in the full programme, however, will not be eligible for a range of ACT Now programme perks, including grants and free energy assessor visits.
No. This programme is open to all types of tenancy and ownership, and the majority of information will be relevant to all.
I've heard of Cosy Homes Oxfordshire and they're offering home energy reports - is this the same thing?
Cosy Homes Oxfordshire and ACT Now/LCWO are not one and the same thing. Cosy Homes Oxfordshire is a new service run by Low Carbon Hub, Energy Retrofit and National Energy Foundation offering:
- Quick fix heating schemes
- Simple measures that are quick to install such as loft insulation, cavity wall insulation, ventilation with access to a handyman scheme
- Advice for people who are doing works and could maximise the property’s energy efficiency at the same time
- Two week program of works (e.g. for moving or holidays)
- Whole house retrofits
Low Carbon West Oxford, along with other community groups in Oxfordshire, are also partners in the Cosy Homes Oxfordshire (CHO) initiative, helping to promote its services in West Oxford. LCWO will be delivering some of the ACT Now programme in partnership with CHO (e.g. supporting West Oxford residents with larger measures), as well as promoting activities and services locally for those not participating in the programme.
Participants in the ACT Now programme will be eligible for a FREE home energy assessment, whilst for those not participating, CHO is offering similar homes energy reports for £75.