Powering the first community ESCO in Oxfordshire

ESCO-in-a-box. A decarbonisation solution for delivering energy efficiency projects for hard-to-reach businesses.

The Project

Energy services companies (ESCOs) provide energy solutions and financing support to organisations that want to combat their carbon output. However, it’s difficult for small and medium-size businesses (SMEs) to tap into this level of expert guidance. In Oxfordshire, the ESCO-in-a-box initiative is changing this story to bring the benefits of energy efficiency to hard-to-reach businesses via a local one-stop shop.

Our approach


ep connect partnered with Low Carbon Hub and Oxford Brookes University to launch a community scheme that would help local businesses adopt energy-saving measures.

The project was part-funded by a £1.1M grant from the Government’s BASEE programme which powered the development of a unique community ESCO called Energy Solutions Oxfordshire (ESOx)

Best practice

We worked with ESOx to lead the development of ESCO-in-a-box. This virtual box – filled with low-carbon resources, best practice guides, and practical tools – helps local authorities, organisations, and community co-ops to offer energy efficiency support to SMEs. It means local environmental initiatives can go to market quickly and efficiently to better serve local businesses.


The team in Oxfordshire worked tirelessly to get the scheme off the ground and it’s already helping SMEs to implement decarbonisation measures and green technologies. We’ve also developed a strong network of local suppliers and contractors.


Many local authorities have made promises to reach net-zero in the coming decades and we believe initiatives like ESCO-in-a-box can help them to meet ambitious targets. The scheme can be tailored to suit different regional and industry-specific challenges across the country and around the world.



Local employment and economic growth


Contractor frameworks, with a roster of trusted contractors for Oxfordshire, as well as mechanisms to track the engagement of these contractors throughout the specification and selection process.



Business community engagement 


A Marketing and Outreach approach that is flexible and responsive to the additional hurdles presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and collateral that capitalises on the social value of the project by promoting the project’s SME community, through the Energy Pioneer Award. 



Carbon savings and reduction


A diverse pipline of local project partners, with recommended measure representing annual savings of 2.15 GWh, equivalent to 444tCO2e, with 16 local businesses saving a totaly of £106,600 every year where all measure are implemented. 



Recognition of local success

Local recognition helps to raise community awareness and increase interest in
this type of initiative.

Our team

Alex has been an entrepreneur in the clean energy sector for around 15 years. He founded respected energy analytics business EEVS Insight in 2011 and has led a number of consultancy teams, advising corporate and public sector clients on energy strategies and developing innovative business models that make sense of energy efficiency. Alex holds a Masters degree in electrical engineering from Imperial College London and an MBA from Ashridge Business School, and is a Chartered Engineer. Alex has spent his entire career trying to address climate change, which he views as an unprecedented opportunity for creating a better, more equitable world. 

Armin is a multifaceted professional and entrepreneur with more than 15 years of international experience working on clean energy topics in public and private sector organisations. He is fluent in English, French and German, and maintains an extensive global network in the energy sector. Armin is passionate about the role of policies and governance in driving the transition to a sustainable, low carbon energy system.

Connor provides an interdisciplinary background ranging from data structures to environmental economics and sociotechnical change. Connor earned a First-Class Master of Natural Sciences degree for his novel research into market-based carbon accounting and corporate signalling at the University of East Anglia, where he founded and continues to support the “Any Last Words?” climate communication competition, highlighting a long-standing commitment to improve science communication and climate engagement as a public good. 

Contact us if you are interested in becoming a potential licensee of ESCO-in-a-box – especially Councils, Local Authorities, LEPs, Community Energy Organisations.