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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.

About us

Energy Networks Association (ENA) is the industry body representing the energy networks. Our members include every major electricity network operator in the UK. The electricity networks are at the heart of the energy transition. They directly employ more than 26,000 people in the UK, including 1,500 apprentices. They are spending and investing £33bn in our electricity grids over the coming years, to ensure safe, reliable and secure energy supplies for the millions of homes and businesses reliant on power every day.

Press contacts

You can contact ENA's press office by emailing For urgent or out-of-hours enquiries from journalists, please call 0204 599 7691.