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Innovation snapshot: CommuniHeat

23 September 2022


As network operators work tirelessly towards achieving their Net Zero goals, it’s clear that one priority is the need to support rural communities in transitioning to low-carbon heating in the most efficient, reliable and effective way possible.

CommuniHeat is an award-winning partnership aiming to develop a roadmap that will enable rural communities to switch to low-carbon heating in a way that ensures a comfortable, affordable and smooth transition. It’s a project that’s captured the attention of many in the industry, and the Energy Innovation Summit will provide an update on the practical progress being made and the latest data from the scheme.

At this stage of the process, CommuniHeat is focused on simulating how residents of Barcombe, East Sussex, can take real ownership of their energy, switching to low-carbon heating and developing much greater resilience.

The project is using real anonymised data from Barcombe to feed into modelling exercises which look the impact of local energy generation, electricity network infrastructure requirements and viable heating options, alongside ways to finance a low-carbon heating solution for all.

CommuniHeat was designed from the outset as a source of shareable lessons, with the aim of providing insight and learning to other off gas villages throughout the UK, so it should provide an excellent source of innovation inspiration.

The project is a partnership between the people of Barcombe, local community energy group Ovesco, engineering practice Buro Happold and is led by electricity network operator UK Power Networks.

If you’re at the Energy Innovation Summit in Glasgow, don’t miss the chance to learn more about the project. Visit the UK Power Networks stand at 1pm on 29 September to hear from UK Power Networks’ Innovation Project Lead, Dean Mason.

CommuniHeat is just one of the projects which will be showcased at the forthcoming Summit. With less than one week to go, this in-person event will showcase learning from over 60 UK innovation projects, demonstrate the value of innovation in every aspect of our energy systems, and help drive action on the next generation of innovative projects across the sector.

By attending this event, you will:

  • Have access to 15+ sessions across two days
  • Hear from more than 75 expert speakers 
  • Visit the interactive exhibition with over 35 partner and exhibition stands
  • Connect with likeminded people during any of the six networking sessions 
  • Have a range of networking opportunities, including dedicated receptions and lunches across the two days

You can find out more and register to attend on our website.

Press contacts for journalists

ENA Press Office


About Energy Networks Association

Energy Networks Association (ENA) is the industry body representing the electricity wires, gas pipes and energy system in the UK and Ireland.

ENA helps its members meet the challenge of delivering electricity and gas to communities across the UK and Ireland safely, sustainably and reliably.

Its members include every major electricity and gas network operator in the UK and Ireland, independent operators, National Grid ESO which operates the electricity system in Great Britain and National Gas which operates the gas system in Great Britain. Its affiliate membership also includes companies with an interest in energy, including Heathrow Airport and Network Rail.

What are energy network operators?

Energy network operators manage and maintain the wires, pipes and other infrastructure which delivers electricity and gas to your home, business and community. They are private companies which are regulated by Ofgem and employ around 40,000 people in Great Britain.

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