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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number NIA_UKPN0066
Title CommuniHeat
Status Completed
Energy Categories Other Cross-Cutting Technologies or Research(Demographics) 40%;
Other Cross-Cutting Technologies or Research(Energy system analysis) 20%;
Other Power and Storage Technologies(Electricity transmission and distribution) 20%;
Other Cross-Cutting Technologies or Research(Environmental, social and economic impacts) 20%;
Research Types Applied Research and Development 100%
Science and Technology Fields ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) 100%
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Consumer attitudes and behaviour) 50%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Technology acceptance) 50%;
Principal Investigator Project Contact
No email address given
UK Power Networks
Award Type Network Innovation Allowance
Funding Source Ofgem
Start Date 01 October 2020
End Date 11 December 2022
Duration ENA months
Total Grant Value £919,688
Industrial Sectors Power
Region London
Programme Network Innovation Allowance
Investigators Principal Investigator Project Contact , UK Power Networks (100.000%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , UK Power Networks (0.000%)
Web Site https://smarter.energynetworks.org/projects/NIA_UKPN0066
Objectives CommuniHeat will undertake research, engagement and desktop based assessments to inform the most suitable approach to decarbonise heat for off-gas grid communities. Specifically, the project will focus on an off-gas grid community in Barcombe, East Sussex to develop a roadmap scalable to other similar communities across GB. The project will identify how to best support Barcombe to decarbonise at the lowest overall cost, while reducing their energy needs and maintaining their heating comfort. The CommuniHeat project method is in line with the Local Area Energy Plans (LAEP) method referred to in Ofgems RIIO-2 Business Plan Guidance. The research will apply to the Barcombe area in South Eastern Power Networks region to gain insights and qualitative & quantitative understanding of the impact electrified heat has on ED networks. The added value of the project will come from incorporating and understanding network and customer impact from EV uptake, renewables options, and distributed energy resources alongside decarbonisation of heat. CommuniHeat aims to deliver a cost-effective and least regrets roadmap for facilitating the transition of off-gas communities to electrified heat. The project was extended until December 2022 in order to publish and distribute all learnings from the project to the widest possible audience; including: a public event demonstrating the project findings and publication of a Home Action Plan. There was no additional cost allocated to the project budget in order to complete these activities. The objectives of the project are:- Develop an understanding of the network impact of low carbon heat solutions; - Develop a clear understanding of the potential value of an LAEP approach in delivering value to both the customer and DNO as compared to an uncoordinated approach; - Develop a viable and replicable approach to LAEP which will enable the transition to Net Zero carbon for off-gas communities throughout GB; - An appraisal of the impact of different commercial and technical approaches and their effect on network reinforcement requirements, reliability and cost to consumer; and - An assessment of any regulatory and policy barriers for deployment which if addressed would deliver significant benefits to customers and network.
Abstract Currently there are 4 million homes off the gas grid in UK and many of them are clustered in rural areas/villages. Of the 4 million homes, approximately 1.6 million rely on oil as their primary source of energy (and the rest mainly using electricity or Liquefied Petroleum Gas). In order to meet the Net Zero target, the off-gas grid community needs to transition fast. With no existing gas infrastructure and clarity in government policy to phase out carbon intensive heating methods, electrification of heat is deemed the most feasible and cost effective solution to decarbonise such communities. However, these communities need to overcome significant barriers with technology investment and electricity network capacity on their route to Net Zero emissions. Factors such as capital hurdle and disruption to customers need to be addressed and DNOs are required to find cost effective and future-proof network readiness solutions. A least regrets roadmap for transition must be defined.
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 02/11/22