Oxford Brookes University Leads Innovative Clean Heat Streets Project

Embracing Clean Energy Solutions

Oxford Brookes University is championing a revolutionary research project aimed at installing up to 150 clean air-source heat pumps in residences across Oxford. Known as the Clean Heat Streets project, this initiative is aimed at circumventing the common obstacles associated with heat pump uptake, such as the high cost of installation, by adopting a neighbourhood-based approach as opposed to focusing on individual homes.

Oxford Brookes University leading the Clean Heat Streets project

Project Funding and Contributors

The project, funded by a £3.35m grant from the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP) under the Government’s Heat Pump Ready funding programme, is set to be implemented in the Rose Hill area of Oxford. The consortium supporting this project includes Oxford Brookes University, University of Oxford, Oxford City Council, Oxfordshire County Council, Samsung, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), GenGame, Passiv UK, Alto Energy and the Rose Hill and Iffley Low Carbon group.

London Festival of Architecture

Similar to the Clean Heat Streets project, the London Festival of Architecture 2023 will also be celebrating innovative urban design and community-centric projects. These initiatives demonstrate the growing trend towards sustainable and community-focused urban development.

Overcoming Barriers to Heat Pump Uptake

The Clean Heat Streets project builds on a six-month feasibility study that leveraged Oxford Brookes University’s innovative Local Area Energy Mapping Approach (LEMAP) to identify suitable homes for heat pump installation. The study also explored the primary obstacles to heat pump adoption in the Rose Hill area of Oxford.

High-Density Deployment of Heat Pumps

Professor Rajat Gupta, Professor of Sustainable Architecture and Climate Change at Oxford Brookes University, praised the project, stating that it will demonstrate the high-density deployment of heat pumps in a neighbourhood. The LEMAP tool, he said, has been instrumental in identifying suitable streets for heat pump deployment in Rose Hill. The project is set to streamline the installation process by creating a network of skilled installers, which will save time, money, and resources.

Citizen Participation in The Pilot Project

The Clean Heat Streets project is inviting households from Rose Hill to participate in the pilot. Homeowners, private rented tenants, landlords, and social housing tenants or landlords are all welcome to express their interest in taking part. Residents can find out more or express their interest through the Clean Heat Streets website or by email.

Reducing Costs for Consumers

Installation of an air-source heat pump typically costs the average UK household between £7,000 and £10,000 due to the time taken and complexities involved. However, households participating in this pilot project will only pay around £3,000, thanks to subsidies. Air-source heat pumps are three or four times more efficient than boilers as they give out more heat than the electric energy used to run them.

Oxford’s Ambition to Become a Net Zero Carbon City

Oxford aims to become a net zero carbon city by 2040, ten years ahead of the national target. Buildings in the city are responsible for approximately 60% of emissions, and tackling this is crucial to achieving this goal. It has been estimated that to meet this target, over 30,000 air-source heat pumps will need to be installed across the city by 2040.

Oxford Brookes University’s Commitment to Net Zero Campaign

In February 2021, Oxford Brookes University joined other city leaders in supporting the ambition for Oxford to become a net zero city by 2040. The University’s involvement in the Clean Heat Streets project is a testament to their commitment to this cause.

Championing a Cleaner Future

Through this innovative project, Oxford Brookes University is leading the way towards a cleaner, more sustainable future, demonstrating the power of community collaboration and innovative technology in tackling the challenges of climate change.