There is potential for delivering many benefits regarding how we use energy, the types of technology and controls that we adopt, the sources of the energy we use, and the extent to which we ‘flex’ the timing of our use of energy, local generation and, in the future, energy storage.

The benefits include:

  • Smarter use of energy resulting in better value for money
  • Greater take-up of sustainable energy and electric vehicles with all their advantages
  • Greener transport and home heating to support cleaner air and reduce global warming
  • The opportunity for community investment in local clean energy sources

who are helping to ensure these principles apply to Thame’s greatest natural water assets, The River Thame, the Cuttle Brook and Kingsey Cuttle Brook.

4.1 Energy Awareness


Involve more people in using energy more efficiently

Establish easy access to relevant information and mechanisms for questions and follow up

Action: Have a presence at town events such as the summer carnival and the Christmas lights.

Action: Provide printed and online materials that prompt ideas for individual actions.

Action: Encourage discussion and follow-up via TGL Facebook page and website.

Action: Organise an EV awareness event in Thame and publicise EV test drive opportunities. (see 4.4.)

OBJECTIVE: Establish a green profile for Thame in energy, for all who live, work or visit here

Action: Make Thame energy initiatives visible, for example EV chargers signposted and with TTC & TGL ‘branding’.

Action: Establish a community energy company for Thame (by linking with established regional models or otherwise).

OBJECTIVE: Better awareness, conservation and management of domestic water usage.

Action: Publish and circulate the draft energy strategy for information and comment, available on TGL website.

Action: Identify sources of expertise and possible future energy project partners.

Action: build on consultation feedback consistent with TTC and GLP strategy and lessons from practical projects.

4.2 Energy efficiency and sustainability – Individual Actions

OBJECTIVE: Promote personal actions that can improve energy efficiency

Action: Provide pamphlets and website information, including FB posts and promotion at events.

Action: Encourage use of Smart Meters to take advantage of new services and deals.

Action: Seek a link with Citizens Advice to assist their work in this area.

OBJECTIVE: Improve the energy efficiency of existing homes

Action: Flag up government grants and programmes for individual homes (as part of the government Net Zero programme).

Action: Identify Retrofit work programmes elsewhere that might be suitable for Thame. e.g. Better Homes Better Health and Cosy Homes.

4.3 Energy efficiency and sustainability – Community & infrastructure Actions

OBJECTIVE: Encourage businesses to improve their energy efficiency

Action: Link with TTC Business Forum to raise awareness of free energy audits and grants for making energy improvements. e.g. at a Business Breakfast event.

OBJECTIVE: Explore options that will enable TTC to improve the energy efficiency of their estate, vehicles and the town infrastructure

Action: Identify opportunities for free energy surveys and grants available to TTC. e.g. SALIX.

Action: Look at best practices elsewhere (e.g. LEDs for street lighting, security lighting, and restricted hours for street lighting).

OBJECTIVE: Achieve improvements to the energy efficiency of new homes and businesses

Action: Encourage developers to build-in PV on suitable roofs, provide EV charging, and consider solar roofs for walkways and awnings.

Action: Encourage local contractors to support a ‘connected homes’ initiative through training and business partnering.

Action: Support wider national moves to improve building standards.

Action: Input to the revised Neighbourhood Plan to shape policy positions.

4.4 Clean Personal Transport

OBJECTIVE: Establish greater awareness and uptake of green transport for personal and business use (including electric and hydrogen fuelled vehicles)

Action: Organise an EV awareness day and test drives for personal transport (e.g. MK’s EV Experience Centre and local EV drivers and car clubs) .

Action: Track developments in cleaner commercial transport (e.g. Battery and Hydrogen vehicles) and alert local businesses.

4.5 Clean transport in the community

OBJECTIVE: Establish if feasible a local EV car club as part of cleaner air and greener lifestyles

Action: Research EV car clubs (incl. Bucks and Oxon organisations).

Action: Assess local interest in a Thame EV Car Club.

OBJECTIVE: Establish if feasible an EV car-pooling/ sharing in Thame

Action: Find out more about EV car-pooling including local examples e.g. Co-wheels in Oxford, Zipcar, Enterprise car club, and Tuo (peer to peer).

OBJECTIVE: Encourage business Vehicle Fleet conversion to EVs

Action: Work through TTC Business Forum to present information and impartial advice.

OBJECTIVE: Greater provision of business EV charging for their staff and visitors

Action: Work with TTC Business Forum to present information and impartial advice.

Action: Set up a business breakfast meeting to introduce key concepts / link with specialists.

OBJECTIVE: Make it easier for Thame’s community organisations to make decisions about installing EV chargers

Action: Provide information on TGL website and FB.

Action: Provide a simple check list of starting points for organisations to consider.

Action: Link interested parties who are willing to share experience.

OBJECTIVE: Press for ‘smart ready’ EV chargers, geared to the local power grid to minimise upgrades, that have simple (contactless) payment .

Action: Consider these requirements for TTC-initiated charging points.

Action: Consider adding these requirements to NP2 policy for car parks, homes and businesses.

Action: Recommend business conversion to EV Fleets or workplace charging for staff and visitors.

4.6 Low Carbon Energy Sources

OBJECTIVE: Establish relationships with local commercial-scale clean energy production in and around Thame

Action: Link up with the owners of the local PV arrays near Towersey and Ilmer villages.

Action: Explore guided visits and real time information (e.g. with schools and others).

OBJECTIVE: Speed up change to low-carbon fuels for domestic, business and other buildings

Action: Track developments and experience in heat pumps and other alternatives as low carbon alternatives to gas and oil for heating.

Action: Review government grants and installation trials and programmes and whether Thame might benefit from participating.

OBJECTIVE: Make it easier for local domestic clean energy production to be installed in and around Thame

Action: Monitor costs of home solar PV and, when viable, hold a PV awareness event and link with providers and installers.

Action: Monitor ‘whole street’ PV discounts (incl. experience elsewhere (e.g. Green Group’s Solar Streets).

Action: Seek co-operation to produce ‘case studies’ of local domestic installations for practicalities and economics.

OBJECTIVE: Encourage other property owners to install clean energy (e.g. schools, offices, and sports and council buildings)

Action: Track economics of larger solar PV installations; where viable, hold a PV awareness event with links to providers and installers.

Action: Explore opportunities for solar roofs, for example car parks or shopping walkways.

Action: Seek Neighbourhood Plan support for siting of new installations – including large solar roofs and community funded installations.

OBJECTIVE: Seek support for establishing a community-funded large-scale energy development in Thame.

Action: Check options for new commercial scale renewable energy: generation (solar or wind), energy storage, and ability to offer flexibility. Include opportunities for new building developments that could include large solar roofs, perhaps community funded installations.

Action: Work with an established organisation, such as the Low Carbon Hub in Oxford or the Community Energy Society being established in Henley, to gain access to professional expertise (technical, financial, and legal).

4.7 Ideas for the future

High Street Power Supplies

OBJECTIVE: Reduce the need for noisy and polluting diesel generators when a fairground is in the High Street

Action: Consider if power supplies can be made available in the High Street, perhaps linked to EV chargers, that could replace polluting diesel generators at Thame Fairs.

Action: Consult via TTC with fairground operators as to viability and cost.

Trading local energy


Create ways of surplus energy being traded locally to share the benefits of renewable sources

Make surplus energy available to national energy markets to earn a return

Action: Look into trading energy locally, both within Thame and with national markets, to provide a financial return. This might include energy from solar panels, or energy in EVs or home batteries. This could form part of a ‘community energy’ initiative, a number of which are under way nationally.