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Funding secured to help rural communities utilise lower cost, low carbon heating

We are delighted to announce that along with our partners, Cybermoor Services, and eQuality Homes, we have secured Discovery Phase funding from the Green Home Finance Accelerator, part of the UK Government’s Net Zero Innovation Portfolio.

Lord Callanan

This funding will enable the development of a delivery model for rural communities looking to transition to low-carbon heat.

This Discovery Phase is the first part of a two-phase project looking to develop a new online platform under the branding of Net Zero Communities, which will support rural communities in developing and financing lower cost, low carbon heat networks.

The Net Zero Communities’ online platform will help establish the level of demand for low carbon heat networks in rural communities. This will enable us to match that demand with community investors looking to invest in low-carbon heat infrastructure as part of a standardised, replicable and scalable approach.

Community energy schemes have already attracted £150 million investment in community shares, demonstrating the potential for heat networks to make a real difference to the people living in rural areas.

Community energy schemes offer a number of benefits, including the ability to:

  • Secure economies of scale to reduce the cost of low-carbon heat.
  • Access lower-risk and longer-term finance to reduce the cost of operating heat networks.
  • Develop integrated smart energy networks to improve flexibility, reduce energy costs and provide a platform to reduce grid constraints faced by rural communities.
  • Deliver greater local ownership and control for communities to reduce dependency on imported grid-based energy.

The first phase of the project will engage with key stakeholders and collaborators – including the working group for the innovative Chipping Community Energy project – to develop the concept, address key questions and challenges, and assemble the strongest team to bid for funding that will enable us to deliver the second phase of the project.

The second phase will see the development of the Net Zero Communities online platform and the completion of the required enabling activities, demonstrating the scheme’s capacity to support the delivery of lower cost, lower carbon heat for rural communities.

Lord Callanan, Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance, said:

The government has put in place long-term commitments to ensure homes across the country have greater energy efficiency to reduce bills, drive down energy use and lower emissions. We are supporting these organisations to develop fresh and innovative ways of helping more people get better access to energy efficiency measures, such as loft insulation, double glazing and heat pumps.

The Green Home Finance Accelerator is funded by the UK Department for Energy Security and Net Zero.

You can find out more about Cybermoor Services here and eQuality Homes here.


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