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Community Energy

We are committed to enabling community energy groups to explore the opportunities of generating, supplying and using energy more effectively.

Community energy groups are important stakeholders in the energy system.

Western Power Distribution are committed to working proactively with community energy groups. We recognise that the volunteer led approach and complex nature of their projects means that community energy groups need more time and support to engage in the process of connecting to the network.

"Conversations are free and we encourage you to talk to us early”, 

encourages Alison Sleightholm, Resources and External Affairs Director, Western Power Distribution.  We pride ourselves on early engagement with community energy groups and we encourage you to make contact in the early stages of your project.   

Please click here for information on our 'Future of Electricity' consultation.

What is community energy?

Community energy covers aspects of collective action to reduce, purchase, manage and generate energy.

Community energy projects have an emphasis on:

Local engagement
Local leadership
Democratic control
Local community benefit

Community energy groups can also play a role in projects and trials led by others, such as local authorities, energy companies and network operators.

Their excellent links to the local people and businesses mean they are trusted intermediaries.


Currently the network in some areas is constrained because it wasn’t designed for two way flows of electricity. Flexible smart solutions to balance the supply of electricity and increasing demand at a local level can overcome these challenges and provide exciting opportunities for communities to get involved.  With this in mind, Western Power Distribution have been running a number of innovation trials.  Summaries of these trials can be found in our case studies section.