More information about Flex Community™

Click on the questions below to find out more information, if you don’t find the answer you can contact the team on [email protected]

What is Flex Community™?

Flex Community™ is the UK element of the EU funded ReDREAM research project, facilitated by Bath and West Community Energy (BWCE) and Avalon Community Energy (ACE) and supported by a range of other EU partners including Stemy Energy, a Spanish company developing digital technology to support the energy transition.

The project is trialling different ways households can collectively, as a community, make the most efficient use of renewable energy to meet electricity demand.


What is the energy transition?

Energy transition refers to the global energy sector’s shift from fossil-based systems of energy production and consumption — including oil, natural gas and coal — to renewable energy sources like wind and solar to meet the increasing demand for electricity, as people switch to electricity for household heating and transport.

What is Flex?

Energy flexibility or ‘flex’ is the ability to vary or shift demand for electricity in response to an external signal, such as the pressure on the electricity grid.  This means both reducing your electricity demand when the grid is congested and/or increasing your electricity demand to times when there is a lot of renewable generation supplying the grid.

Who can get involved in Flex Community™?

There are a range of ways to get involved in this important research project depending upon whether you have energy technologies in your home or are interested in maximising your  use of renewable energy already available on the grid.  To find out how you can get involved, we ask you some sets of questions about your energy use.  The sets of questions are known as ‘Plans’ and we will guide you towards which Plan is appropriate for you.  If you are suitable to join our Flex Community, your active participation is via a Flex Community app for your smart phone.  The different Plans are shown below:

  • Track your household appliance electricity use and find out how to change your appliance use to make the most of when renewable electricity is supplying the grid by using a free smart plug and an app on your smart phone.  (Flex Behaviour Plan)
  • Simulate the purchase of locally generated, low-cost renewable solar electricity if you live near one of our generating sites by having a free smart device installed in your home and using an app on your smart phone (Community Solar Plan)
  • Simulate the sale of your excess solar electricity from your roof-top PV to other households within your community by having a free smart device installed in your home and using an app on your smart phone (Flex Smart Plan PV)
  • Offer an existing installed energy technology,  such as an ev charge point, immersion heater (used as the primary source of water heating) and heat pump to respond to flexibility requests from the grid by having a free smart device installed in your home and using an app on your smart phone (Flex Smart Plan)
  • Install a compatible energy technology such as an ev charge point or heat pump (at your own cost) and offer this to respond to flexibility requests from the grid by having a free smart device installed in your home and using an app on your smart phone. (EV Charging Post Plan or Heat Pump Plan)

Will I get paid for providing flexibility?

As a gesture of thanks, you will receive a minimum annual ‘flex payment’ of £50 (pro-rata if your participation is less than one full year) up to a maximum of £100 depending upon how much flexibility you are able to offer.  NB for households participating in the Flex Behaviour Plan and the Flex Smart Plan PV the flex payment is capped at £50.

Are there Terms and Conditions I need to comply with?

You will be required to read and comply with Terms and Conditions which govern your use of the Flex Community Portal.   You will also be required to read and sign Terms and Conditions relevant to the Plan you sign-up to (as above).  You will only be required to sign the Terms and Conditions once you have been approved to join the Flex Community. Whilst the Terms and Conditions are always available on the Flex Community Portal, we recommend you download the signed copy for your records.

How long do I need to participate?

The research project runs until October 2023 so we would like you to stay with us until then if you can. This will provide with us a greater amount of data (in particular, capturing the impact of seasonal changes) to analyse and measure the impact of community flexibility.

What happens if I want to leave the project?

If your circumstances change or you no longer want to be part of the project, you will be able to leave Flex Community™ at any time by notifying Us in writing at [email protected].

In the event that you leave within the first 12 months of joining your flex payment will be pro-rated for the amount of time that you participated.

I’m interested, what do I do next?

Please complete the Expression of Interest. Once you have completed the Expression of Interest you will be invited to an information session (face-to-face or online as appropriate). These are small and informal sessions with BWCE and ACE personnel who will explain the Flex Community project in more detail and will be able to answer your questions.

How safe is my data?


All your data is treated in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018 which is the UK’s implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Details of how your data is used is covered in our Privacy Policy (add a link) as annexed to each of the Plan Terms and Conditions.

How much flexibility would I need to provide?

That will depend upon which Plan you are eligible for.  We will always discuss with you what your involvement will mean in terms of your electricity use.  We are testing whether very small changes in electricity use by individual households can be aggregated together across many households, via the Flex Community™, could have a significant collective impact. This is where the ’community’ aspect comes into it!

Would I have control over the amount of flexibility I provide?

Yes. You can pre-set limits for flexibility on the app on your smart phone.  You can also override any requests for flexibility when you need to.

How do I become a Flex Community™ participant?

1.      Complete an Expression of Interest on our website.  One of the team will be in contact with you to find out more about your circumstances and invite you to an information session (usually online).

2.     Join an Information Session.  These are usually online and where we provide you with more details about the project and you can ask questions. If we agree that you are a suitable household and you wish to proceed, we will invite you to join the Flex Community™

3.     Sign-up. If you wish to proceed, we will send you a link to the Flex Community™ Portal via email, when clicking on the link you will be asked to register your participation and create a password protected account.

4.    Complete ‘My Profile’ Once you have registered on the Flex Community™ Portal you will be required to answer some questions about your house (size, age, energy efficiency aspects) and your electricity supplier. This provides us with an overall profile of potential suitability to become a Flex Community™ member.

5.    Complete the Plan you are Interested in. You will be guided on the Portal as to which Plan is appropriate for you. This will involve answering a few more questions to allow us to determine your suitability to join on technical grounds.

I want to join the EV Charging Post Plan or Heat Pump Plan but don’t currently have these energy technologies installed. Do I need to pay to have an energy technology installed?

You will need to pay for the installation of an eligible heat pump or ev charge post. For financial support for the installation of a heat pump, check out the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (add link) and grant schemes for electric vehicle charging. (No longer available for private off-street residential properties).

The smart device that is required to be installed in your home to enable you to be flexible is installed free of charge.

Do I need to change my electricity supplier to get involved in any of the Plans?

Do I need a Smart meter?