Rural Energy and Community Heat (REACH). This project will explore new and exciting opportunities for rural communities to achieve their net zero ambitions.


Innovation project for rural communities in the Midlands, South West and South Wales

Rural Energy and Community Heat (REACH)

Note: This is a project is for communities within National Grid’s electricity distribution region. This covers the Midlands, South West and South Wales. 


List of detailed questionnaire questions:

You can download the list of detailed questionnaire questions here.

Please note, we still require responses to be submitted on Google Forms.

Answers to questions we’ve received:

Answers to some questions we’ve received can be seen here



Download workshop slides here.

After the workshop, eligible organisations will complete a detailed questionnaire to provide more details about the organisations and its project. The most appropriate organisations will attend a meeting with Regen and project partners to discuss the project in detail.

Following this, selected projects will be part of an application to Innovate UK for further funding to continue the project. After this, selected projects will have the opportunity to conduct feasibility studies.


What is the project?

This project will explore new and exciting opportunities for rural communities to achieve their net zero ambitions. We will work with rural communities to explore how novel approaches can speed up the rollout of low carbon solutions in their area. This may include shared low carbon heating, EV charging, electricity storage and renewable electricity generation.

This project is funded by network users and consumers under the Strategic Innovation Fund, an Ofgem programme managed in partnership with UKRI.


Who can take part?

This project is looking to engage organisations which:

  • Are within National Grid’s distribution area.
  • Represent a rural community (hamlet or village).
  • Have decarbonisation ambitions relating to heat, transport, storage or generation.
  • Have the passion and drive be part of a pioneering innovation project.

This project is looking to engage community organisations, community energy groups, parish councils and other similar organisations that represent a rural area. If you meet the above criteria, please follow the steps below.


Why is this project happening?

A previous National Grid innovation project identified that rural low voltage networks need more interventions to help the uptake of low carbon technologies when compared to urban environments. Therefore, rural communities may need to adopt alternative approaches to achieving their decarbonisation objectives.

In this project we’re working with National Grid Electricity Distribution and key technology partners including VEPOD, Kensa utilities to trial these alternative approaches. VEPOD provide off-grid EV charging and storage solutions. Kensa Utilities have delivered shared heating infrastructure for local communities.

You can read more about Round 4 of the Strategic Innovation fund here.


Further information:

If you’re not eligible for this project, we encourage you to stay involved with the community energy support that National Grid offers. This will be the best way to hear about future projects.

You can also sign up to Regens community energy newsletter here.

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