Net Zero
Carbon Toolkit

West Oxfordshire District Council collaborated with Cotswold District Council and Forest of Dean District Council to produce a Net Zero Carbon Toolkit, helping to decarbonise existing homes and support net-zero development.

Net Zero Carbon Toolkit

Our Aim

Helping new and existing buildings reach net zero.

Our story

West Oxfordshire District Council, Cotswold District Council, and Forest of Dean District Council are all actively responding to the climate crisis and looking for ways to reduce carbon and reach net zero within their local communities. The three councils came together through Publica – a not-for-profit, council-owned company that enables collaboration across local authorities – to design and develop the Net Zero Carbon Toolkit.

This comprehensive toolkit is accessible to everyone and enables builders, architects, developers, and homeowners to understand and apply a best-practice approach to creating net-zero homes and decarbonising existing properties.

The initiative was funded by the Local Government Association (LGA) Housing Advisors Programme and developed by a consortium of specialists, including Etude, the Passivhaus Trust, Levitt Bernstein, and Elementa Consulting. The guide was created to ensure best practice information on low-energy building is freely available in the public domain and is published under a Creative Commons license – this allows anyone to adapt the toolkit to their local area with the appropriate attribution.

Launched in August 2021, the Net Zero Carbon Toolkit has been widely covered in the press and referenced in academic journals. It has also been adapted across other regions, as well as being downloaded by hundreds of homeowners, developers, builders, architects, and community groups. Word of mouth has been a significant factor in the uptake of the toolkit, and it continues to generate lots of interest at events. User feedback on the comprehensive guide has been very positive.

The Net Zero Carbon Toolkit contains detailed information about every aspect of building decarbonisation from retrofitting to developing and building new net-zero housing. It includes a breakdown of likely carbon and energy gains from key actions as well as budgeting advice to show what is likely to be possible across different spend brackets. The breadth of information and clear, easy-to-follow advice is designed to support everyone, from homeowners planning small-scale works to larger developers planning extensive new developments.

Anyone can download the Net Zero Carbon Toolkit for free from the West Oxfordshire District Council website.

Our advice

Download the Net Zero Carbon Toolkit and use it! –
West Oxfordshire District Council and their local authority partners want as many people as possible to download and benefit from the kit. The experts who collaborated on its creation have worked hard to make it as easy to access as possible for as many people as possible.

Think about planning policy –
The Government has set a UK target to reach net-zero by 2050. For councils meeting ambitious local targets, it is important to think about how planning policy can supplement and support what is contained in the toolkit to have maximum impact on local development and decarbonisation.

Our Metrics –
• Projects, local authorities, and developers actively using the toolkit
• Feedback and community interest

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