CommuniPower: Pioneering project launched to accelerate home decarbonisation

Community Energy South is delighted to launch its pioneering CommuniPower project, aiming to accelerate the pace of home decarbonisation at scale. The project, funded by the Local Energy Advice Demonstrator programme (LEAD) will be developed in Essex and Sussex.

CommuniPower is a localised approach to retrofitting. The programme will provide community-led guidance and support for home retrofit projects and foster the development of local supply chains. This comprehensive approach includes decarbonisation plans and expert assistance to reduce energy consumption in homes and promote locally generated renewable energy.

The project, that will run until spring 2025, is being designed to help solve a critical challenge in meeting our target to reach net zero carbon emissions in the UK by 2050. In 2022, domestic properties accounted for 26% of total emissions in the UK (source: Office for National Statistics). We also have some of the most energy inefficient housing stocks in Europe.

Ollie Pendered, CEO of Community Energy South said: “It’s essential that we speed up cutting carbon in our homes to help address our climate crisis.  Our CommuniPower project provides a planned approach with grassroots engagement at its heart to help make this happen. This project follows in the footsteps of CommuniHeat, developed in Barcombe village in East Sussex. We mapped whole village energy use, showed residents how they could decarbonise their homes and worked with the network operator to establish how to most easily convert the village to electric heating.  We are excited to now have the opportunity to follow this with a programme at scale, rolling out our CommuniPower pilot in Essex and Sussex.”

Tom Day, Head of Energy and Low Carbon Programme at Essex County Council said:
“This £950,000 project will allow community energy groups in Essex to develop to the next level, become a fundamental part of the retrofit programme throughout Essex and in meeting net zero targets in Essex. Funding will be provided for a training programme to significantly expand qualified retrofit advisors and coordinators and we will strengthen a network of suppliers that can deliver retrofit services to local people.”

CES’s vision is to roll out CommuniPower throughout England, to fully engage and empower communities to become a fundamental part of cutting carbon in our homes.

The pilot project will be led by Community Energy South, supported by the Greater South East Net Zero Hub alongside project partners; Essex County Council, Parity Projects and Buro Happold.  Four community energy organisations will be supported through funding, training, and hands on help to engage their local communities and to provide community led retrofit support.




Contact for more information:

Esmé Donghi, Executive Director, Community Energy South:


Community Energy South was set up in 2013 to support the network of community energy groups in the South East of England.  They act as a catalyst and capacity building Hub supporting Community Energy groups to become resilient and to work effectively to support their communities. As part of this they provide training, advice, project management and a best practice, skills sharing network to enable community energy groups to develop green energy projects and ground level carbon reduction, and to offer energy efficiency advice and support for the vulnerable to make energy affordable for all. CES is currently supporting 42 community energy groups across the South East.

CES pioneered Pathways, a triple award-winning programme which works with local authorities to support the delivery of climate change strategies together.  Essex County Council was the first authority in the country to work collaboratively with CES on Pathways.

You can access Community Energy Pathways here:

Pathways – Community Energy South