I am really impressed by the work community groups up and down the United Kingdom are already doing to help their wider communities decarbonise and get involved in this transition.
In the Clean Growth Strategy, I announced the creation of a Local Energy Contact Group and a Local Energy Programme. The Contact group made up of communities, local authorities and local enterprise partnerships and provides local insight for policy teams across BEIS.
The Local Energy Programme has funded Local Energy Strategies in every Local Enterprise Partnership. These strategies will feed into the newly developed Local Energy Hubs, also funded by BEIS to create capacity and capability to help Local Authorities deliver low carbon energy projects at scale.
I have brought the Rural Community Energy Fund into my department to allow it to integrate better with the other work we are doing on heat and local ownership. Together with the Local Energy Programme, that will be almost £20m committed by this Government to support local energy in the last three years. Alongside this we have launched Prospering from the Energy Revolution, a £100m innovation fund designed to support local areas demonstrate future integrated energy systems.
This funding will unlock commercial investment in our local energy system and following a successful national Local Green finance event in Leeds in January, we will be supporting five regional events this summer to bring investors and local projects together.
The Government has a clear vision for an energy system which fairly rewards flexibility for the value it provides to the system.
We have set out in our The Smart Systems & Flexibility Plan, and in the Progress Update in October 2018, a number of actions to open up markets to distribution-connected flexibility, including community energy groups. We are also consulting on a range of changes to the energy market which offer communities a chance to have their say, and ensuring consumers are at the heart of the future energy system.