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We’re continuing to make progress with testing the feasibility of a heat network in our village. The latest news is that we have been successful in receiving approval for funding for the next stage of feasibility studies. It seems as though we’re the only village in the country with approval to move a heat network onto this stage, which is quite exciting!

Our grant funding is subject to a couple of conditions, which are taking some time to work through with the funding body (Greater South East Net Zero Hub – formerly the Greater South East Energy Hub) to ensure we are well set to meet them. If you want to find out more follow us on Facebook or if you're in our village then sign up to our mailing list. 

One development that we’ve been asked in Phase 2 to test in our village context by GSENZH is a so-called ‘ambient loop’ system. This takes low-temperature around the network from a borehole array or air-source heat pumps, and this low-temperature supply is then compressed at each property to achieve temperatures required for heating and hot water. The benefit of such a system is that it reduces heat loss from pumping higher-temperatures around the network; what we need to test in Phase 2 is its suitability for retrofit situations such as ours, and, of course, whether it meets HUH’s objectives for a heat network in Upper Heyford.

While we work through the necessaries in the next few weeks, do please get in touch if you have any questions. In the meantime, please Like our Facebook page; look out for our next visit to the scheme at North Aston; and an interview we’re doing with someone in the village who has gone through the process of fitting solar panels to their propert



You can read the full report here 

Headlines of the Avieco feasibility report are: 

  • it is recommended that we progress to a detailed Phase 2 investigation and then to the development of a high temperature (72 degrees centigrade) heat network, supplied by either ground or air source heat pumps

  • 162 out of 165 village properties are in the potential heat supply zone (the three properties currently excluded are Manor Farm, and Lilliput / Valley View on Lower Heyford Road)

  • potential land parcels and an Energy Centre location have been identified on the Poors Allotment field (to the east of the allotments) and on adjoining land owned by New College

  • forecast operational costs of heat production for ground source heat pumps (the most likely option) are lower than direct electric heating, oil, LPG or individual household air sourced heat pumps, and are slightly higher than mains gas. The operational costs shown in the report do not allow for the recently reported +50% increase in domestic gas prices nor for any operational savings from generating our own solar electricity to power the Energy Centre

 The challenges we (HUH) foresee are -

  • obtaining grants or capital investment to build the scheme which take a sufficiently long term perspective (i.e. 40 to 60 years, the life of the primary infrastructure)

  • gaining sufficient village support (potentially 100+ properties)

  • determining who constructs and then operates the scheme (governance)

Next steps

  • We have applied for Phase2 grant application we will find out by mid-m

  • Visit to North Aston on Saturday 12th March to see scheme in operation and to talk to residents
    (for more details ask Chris Coe or email

Read the full report here.

Click here to read the full report


We were awarded £40,000 from the Rural community Energy Fund to conduct a study to see if a community heat network is suitable for our village.

Click here to view the newsletter 

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March 2021

Click Here to read our newsletter 

(Image by Rhena)

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