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People talking in a building under construction
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Northampton College Advanced Engineering Centre
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People talking in a building under construction
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Northampton Waterside Campus
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School students having a discussion with their teacher
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East Northamptonshire Enterprise Centre


The South East Midlands' Energy Strategy details the route map to secure clean energy to power business and housing growth in the area in line with our local, national and international commitments to cut emissions and improve energy efficiency.

Working with partners, we are committed to improving productivity and sustainability in tandem. To achieve this, SEMLEP promotes growth which is fuelled by renewable energy, smart and connected transport solutions, and greener vehicles, buildings and design principles across the South East Midlands and wider Oxford Cambridge Arc region.

The Energy Strategy, commissioned by SEMLEP, was developed by the National Energy Foundation and funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Priority actions set out in the new energy strategy look at how to address energy supply and distribution issues, mapped against demand and new technologies to help avoid constraints for business. It also sets out actions to allow the South East Midlands to rise to the challenge of decarbonising heating, through the rollout of low carbon heat networks and greater heat efficiency of buildings.

We'd like to keep you informed of energy-related projects, information and events. If you want to be involved, tell us here.

Click here to download the full Energy Strategy and Executive Summary.

Energy Strategy Launch 

On 28 February 2019, SEMLEP launched the South East Midlands Energy Strategy. 

View the presentations from the event here.

Across the South East Midlands, there are a number of funding opportunities for energy projects. To help businesses to access this funding, we’ve collated some of the funding streams below.

If you are aware of any other funding opportunities, please email with more information.

Low Carbon Workplaces Grant

Description: This programme provides successful SMEs with a match-funded grant of between £1,000 - £5,000 to recover up to a third of the cost of various energy-saving technologies, reducing the upfront cost and the time to recover their investment. 
Funding available: £1,000 - £5,000 match funding per project
Audience: All SMEs eligible for ERDF funding
Deadline: not specified
More information

Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator (IEEA) programme (Phase 3)

Description: This programme aims to support the development and industrial-scale demonstration of novel, innovative technologies, which have the potential to reduce energy consumption, maximise resource efficiency, cut greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy, within any industrial sector. 
Funding available: £150,000 - £1m funding per project, £8m total (funding is expected to open for applications in October 2021)
Audience: All businesses in the industrial sectors
Deadline: Fund is expected to open for applications in October 2021
More information

Industrial Fuel Switching competition

Description: This programme aims to support innovation in the development of pre-commercial fuel switch and fuel switch enabling technology for the industrial sector, to help industry switch from high to lower carbon fuels and achieve greenhouse gas emission reduction in line with the Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy. The competition will launch on 12 October 2021, but Expression of Interest submissions will be excepted up to 4 October 2021. 
Funding available: £55m
Audience: All businesses in industrial sectors
Deadline: 29 November (phase 1) and October 2022 (phase 2)
More information

Rural Community Energy Fund

Description: A £10 million programme that supports rural communities in England to develop renewable energy projects with community benefits.
Funding available: £10m
Audience: Community groups and other social enterprises
Deadline: February 2022
More information

ChargePoint Infrastructure Investment Fund

Description: This fund aims to catalyse the rollout of electric vehicle charging infrastructure that is required to support the electrification of vehicles.
Funding available: £200m
Audience: Businesses and Local Authorities  
Deadline: March 2024
More information

Green Angel Syndicate

Description: UK’s largest syndicate of angel investors specialising in investments that fight climate change
Funding available: Depends on the project being funded
Audience: All businesses (both those looking for investment and those looking to invest)
Deadline: None specified
More information

Flexible Power by WPD

Description: A new programme where WPD energy customers, within a Constraint Management Zone (CMZ), can be paid to reduce demand or increase supply during specific periods where demand or generation capacity is constrained. Participants can receive up to £600 per MW provided through the scheme.
Funding available: varies with CMZ
Audience: Domestic and industrial customers, as well as communities, cooperatives and aggregators
Opening: TBC
More information

Net Zero Innovation Portfolio

Description: This programme consists of a range of funding competitions, with more being added throughout 2021, aimed at supporting the development of various technologies to achieve net-zero carbon emissions in the UK by 2050. It is focused on 10 priority areas, which are: future offshore wind; nuclear advanced modular reactors, supported through the aligned Advanced Nuclear Fund; energy storage and flexibility; bioenergy; hydrogen; homes; direct air capture and greenhouse gas removal; advanced CCUS; industrial fuel switching; disruptive technologies.
Funding available: £1bn programme, funding in each individual competition will vary
Audience: All innovators, within the 10 priority areas, in Great Britain
Deadline: Not specified
More information

Ofgem Strategic Innovation Fund 

Description: This fund aims to unlock greener ways to travel and to heat and power homes and businesses, by harnessing a new approach to energy network innovation. Energy and gas network operators are to collaborate with innovators, both businesses and academics, as part of this.  The fund will target innovations that keep energy bills low; drive the UK towards its net zero emissions by 2050 goal; and turn the UK into a global hub of energy innovation.
Funding available: £450m national fund 
Audience: Gas and electricity network operators, who will need to collaborate with businesses and academics. 
Deadline: 2026
More information

For information about the innovation and networking support available for energy projects, click the following tab. 

UK Business Climate Hub

Innovation theme: Business decarbonisation 
 Businesses making a commitment to cut carbon emissions in half by 2030, and to net zero by 2050, through this scheme will receive a variety of tools, ideas, support, and incentives to decarbonise all aspects of their business. Visit the UK Business Climate Hub website to find out more.

Cranfield University

Innovation theme: Energy and Power problem solving through partnership 
 Cranfield University offer a variety of ways to work with their team of business-responsive Energy experts. From small, medium or large projects, they are keen to work in a way that best suits you. Visit the Cranfield University website to find out more.

Greater South East Energy Hub

Description: The Greater South East Energy Hub, funded by BEIS, works to increase the number, quality and scale of local energy projects. To do this, their team of energy project managers provide technical expertise to assist in the delivery of local energy projects to benefit local authorities and their communities, private investors and businesses operating in the low carbon sector. For more information, click here.

Western Power Distribution

Innovation theme: distribution network
Description: Western Power Distributed is an energy distribution network operator covering a large proportion of the SEMLEP area. WPD has a number of programmes and initiatives available to support local energy innovation, including an energy data hub, which provides a breadth of information on its network. For additional information, click here or email:

UK Power Networks

Innovation theme: distribution network
Description: UK Power Networks, is the Distribution Networks Operator covering the southern and eastern parts of SEMLEP. UKPN cover a range of innovation projects under the themes: Low Carbon Ready, Future Ready and Efficient & Effective. To view the individual projects, click here.

The UKPN team leads projects ranging from £50,000 to more than £25 million. They are looking to work with industry to research and trail ideas that can add value to their network and be translated into business-as-usual. To find out more, or to submit an idea, click here. 

Energy Systems Catapult Innovator Support Platform

Innovation theme: innovation in energy systems and technologies
Description: Energy Systems Catapult's Innovator Support Platform provides innovators with tailored incubation and acceleration support to help address systemic barriers, de-risk innovation, help businesses scale and secure investment. For more information on the platform, plus information on other innovation opportunities available, click here.

Connected Places Catapult

Innovation theme: transport/energy systems
Description: Connected Places Catapult are regularly seeking partners for Open Calls and industry collaborations in the transport innovation and smart cities arenas. To view Connected Places Catapult's current opportunities, click here.

Renewable Energy Association 

Innovation theme: low carbon  
The Renewable Energy Association is a coalition build to promote a future built on renewable energy and clean technology. The organisation is the largest renewable energy and associated clean technology body in the UK, with over 550 member organisations representing every type of renewable energy. For more information, click here.

Energy Networks Association 

Innovation theme: distribution networks
Description: The Energy Networks Association represents the 'wires and pipes' transmission and distribution network operators for gas and electricity in the UK and Ireland. The organisation's goal is to promote the UK and Ireland energy networks ensuring their networks are the safest, more reliable, more efficient and sustainable in the world. For more information about the association, click here.

Hydrogen Hub

Innovation theme: transport/energy systems
Description: The Hydrogen Hub is an industry-led community of stakeholders from across the hydrogen and fuel cell supply chain, Government, local authorities, businesses and current and potential users.

The Hydrogen Hub establishes communities or “Hubs” of stakeholders who work together to drive investment in hydrogen and fuel cell technology on a local and national scale. For more information on the Hydrogen Hub, click here.

SEMLEP's Growth Hub

Innovation theme: businesses
: Our Growth Hub supports local businesses through free tailored information, advice and guidance. This support can include talking you through opportunities for funding and, identifying and planning energy-related projects that will help your business to become more efficient. Call the Growth Hub on 0300 01234 35 or email for more information. 

Energy Catalyst Programme

Innovation theme: energy projects which tackle cost, emissions and security of supply
: Innovate UK’s Energy Catalyst programme supports UK-based businesses to develop highly innovative, market-focused energy technologies. A key focus is to address the clean energy access challenge in sub-Saharan Africa and south and south-east Asia. To support the technology funding, a number of international brokerage trips are being planned between February and July 2020. Find out more or apply and take part here.

Octopus Energy

Innovation theme: Renewable energy and energy efficiency
: Octopus Energy, a renewable energy supplier, are inviting local innovators who have innovative energy products to pitch their ideas. Phil Steele, innovation lead at Octopus Energy, will then feature products of interest on his blog. In some circumstances, arrangements are possible with Octopus to offer these products to its customers.  To alert Phil to an innovative product, please email: or visit Octopus Energy.

Green Business Network

Innovation theme: business energy efficiency and decarbonisation
: The Green Business Network (GBN) helps businesses to improve energy efficiency, manage waste, and reduce their impact on the environment. GBN offers networking and knowledge sharing opportunities and free seminars for members, with over 25 years of experience. The network also offers a consultancy service to help businesses meet environmental legal obligations and reduce costs. For more information visit:

Considerate Hoteliers - Considerate's EE Investment Cycle for SMEs

Innovation theme: business energy efficiency
 Energy consumption accounts for up to 10& of the total operating costs of hotels and hospitality businesses and they could realise savings through energy efficiency measures alone of up to 40% of these costs. Major hurdles prevent the small to medium-sized hospitality sector from improving its building stock. Fluttr aims to drive investment energy efficiency retrofits by overcoming these barriers, to help prepare this sector for the large-scale regulatory shifts that life ahead.
Find out more.


Take a look at the beacon energy projects based here in the South East Midlands. To support our route to zero carbon, we want to highlight best practice in energy generation, energy-efficient buildings (including retrofit), grid constraint solutions, low carbon transport, energy efficiency improvements to industrial processes or innovations in technology. Want to include yours? Get in touch with

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