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The road to Net Zero needs to be driven by national and local collaboration

21 June 2021

ENA’s Head of Open Networks, Farina Farrier, discusses opportunities to get involved with the energy networks. 


It’s fantastic to see such a wide range of industry representatives planning to take part in Community Energy Fortnight this year. From Twitter takeovers to virtual events and picnics, all will shine a spotlight on the variety of projects and achievements from the past year, highlighting once more that the future of energy is as local as it is national. 

Community energy groups and projects are vital in the transition to a low-carbon, more decentralised energy network and meeting the Government’s ambitious Net Zero target. For ENA and our members, community energy organisations act as trusted intermediaries in our energy system and ensure people are engaged in the transition. This allows us to work together in a more meaningful way.

Farina Farrier, ENA

It’s been a challenging 14 months, but 2021 has already been a year of action and delivery as we focus on economic recovery in the greenest possible way. Some recent highlights have been: 

  • Our Green Recovery announcement, in conjunction with Ofgem, which unlocks £300m of investment 
  • The “Tomorrow’s Heat, Today’s Opportunity” campaign launch, as part of our Gas Goes Green work 
  • A 41% increase in the volume of flexibility being tendered so far this year, with the anticipated delivery of around 3GW of flexibility being tendered by end of 2021.  

We are continuing to build a grid that leaves nobody behind - community energy groups, projects and people are a key part of this transition, and I’d encourage you to get involved if you can. 

How to get involved 

We are proud to have an extensive community engagement programme that informs every step of our work. We have a series of upcoming events that we would love to get community energy groups engaged with. 

Community Energy Forums 

Last year ENA formally committed to hosting regular community roundtable events, as led by the Open Networks project. 

The forums offer an opportunity for community groups to bring thoughts, views and highlight potential barriers straight to the networks at an important time as they build the nation’s smart grid. This is a critical platform for distribution network operators to receive feedback, and for communities to be able to build their knowledge and capacity.  

It’s been brilliant to work with Community Energy England, Community Energy Scotland and Community Energy Wales on these so far and we appreciate their continued support as part of our ongoing engagement with community groups. 

Our next virtual event is on Thursday 22 July 2-4pm and we would encourage community groups to really take advantage of these forums to help build an energy system that works for all. 

Flexibility Consultation 

Beginning in late July and running for eight weeks, our Flexibility Consultation seeks views and thoughts from across the entire industry on the work we are doing with local flexibility markets. More information will be emailed around ahead of the launch but getting a strong response from community groups is vital to our future work on flexibility. 

Energy Networks Innovation Conference 

The Energy Networks Innovation Conference (ENIC), run by ENA, is taking place as a free virtual event between 12-15 October. For the first time this year we will have a panel session dedicated to highlighting Community energy groups and projects achievements across 2021. 

Notes to editor

This blog was written for Community Energy Fortnight, and originally featured on Community Energy England's website.

See the details of some of our upcoming events below and use the links to register. 

If you are interested in attending our Flexibility Consultation Webinar event hosted by Business Green in early September please email and we will share more information shortly.  

Subscribe to our mailing list to keep up to date with the latest news, events, and updates from the Open Networks project. 

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.