Do community energy projects get a fair deal?

The University of Bath’s Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering is hosting a conference to discuss changes to the electricity power market that would give major benefits to local communities, individuals and small businesses, especially those who generate their own power.

Community energy projects are very popular but consumers do not necessarily gain as much as they might from selling their own energy.

That’s because of the way that traditional energy markets work, and the way that regulations control them. The University of Bath and Wiltshire-based engineering consultancy Swanbarton Limited will bring together energy companies and Innovate UK to debate new business models and discuss how community energy projects could be made fairer and more rewarding.

Topics for discussion will include peer to peer trading, real time tariffs and the implications of real time pricing for consumers and producers of electricity.

Professor Furong Li from the University of Bath commented: “The energy revolution will cut across the industry – new technologies such as demand management and electricity storage are vital – but understanding the market is even more important.

“We want to link new technologies to new market ideas that would work for consumers with diverse energy needs. There is going to be plenty of innovative thought and debate at this conference.”

Clive Tomlinson of Swanbarton Limited specialises in smart energy and communication systems and has led a number of smart energy research projects. He commented: “Energy markets in the UK disadvantage the small energy producer and it is time for a radical change, so that ordinary people can trade their electricity freely within the community. This conference will facilitate discussion on technical and commercial innovations that allow everyone to profit from community energy.”

The New Market Models for Community Energy Conference takes place at the University of Bath on Thursday 29 January.

For further details of how to attend, see