Rose Hill has been the focus of several regeneration and low carbon initiatives, one of which is Project ERIC which has brought solar PV and smart electricity storage technologies in 82 households. Not stopping there, the Rose Hill and Iffley Low Carbon Group organised The Rose Hill Renewables Revolution event on the evening of Friday 3rd June 2016 where the ERIC project team was invited to present the results coming out from monitoring and evaluation.
Professor Rajat Gupta from Oxford Brookes University reported interesting findings from ERIC focussing on the householders’ energy attitudes and feedback on the project. Professor Gupta was accompanied by Dr Adorkor Bruce-Konuah, researcher on the project. When asked about concerns about energy prices, climate change and energy supplies, 75% of ERIC households reported they were concerned about rising energy prices, 72% said they were concerned about climate change and 60% were concerned about energy supplies. As 90% of the ERIC households are social rented households, these particular finding is motivating as there is a common misconception that people in socially disadvantaged communities are least likely to worry about the environment.
Initial results from the performance of the solar PV systems and the smart battery storage also show encouraging results. From a sample of 50 installed PV systems, approximately 91MWh of electricity has been generated in a year, saving approximately 47,000kgCO2 of emissions annually. Assuming that 50% of the generated electricity is consumed by ERIC households, each householder can save around £120 per year. The Maslow batteries are also helping to increase the self-consumption of PV generated electricity by up to 11% on a household level.
As well as presenting ERIC, Professor Gupta shared insights and tools available from other energy and communities projects, undertaken by the Low Carbon Building Group of Oxford Brookes University. These include the EVALOC low carbon communities project which has created the ENACT toolkit for supporting learning from community energy projects (www.evaloc.org.uk) and DECoRuM carbon mapping which can assess energy use on a house-by-house, identify areas action and calculate potential for energy savings. These projects are relevant to the aspirations of the Rose Hill and Iffley Low Carbon Group (and other groups in Oxford) as they develop their future plans for community-led energy action.
Overall the presentation was very successful in informing the low carbon group and the wider community on the ongoing performance of the installed generation and storage technologies. The evaluation of household energy attitudes also provided useful feedback to ERIC householders who were also present at the event.