Community Energy Fund

The North East and Yorkshire Net Zero Hub is now inviting applications for the Community Energy Fund.

Please note, all funding is subject to final agreement between the Net Zero Hubs and the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero. The submission of an application form does not guarantee funding.

Overview

The Community Energy Fund (CEF) is a £10m grant scheme for urban and rural communities to develop energy services to benefit their local area.

The funding will help to kickstart clean energy projects including small-scale wind farms and rooftop solar partnerships, as well as battery storage, rural heat networks, electric vehicle charging points. It can also be used to fund fuel poverty alleviation schemes such as energy efficiency, retrofit, and advice projects.

The new fund follows the success of the Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF), with an expanded remit to include both rural and urban areas in England.

Aims of the scheme

The CEF aims to empower local people to take control of their energy future by:

  • Increasing the number of community-owned low-carbon energy assets
  • Supporting communities to reduce energy cost and demand
  • Generating local income through community-owned energy assets
  • Reinvesting income locally and kickstarting private investment
  • Supporting local jobs, growth and volunteering opportunities
  • Enabling places to benefit from clean, renewable, local energy

The fund will achieve its aims by supporting the earlier-development stages of community-scale projects.

About the funding

The fund is for the development of projects from concept to investment-ready scheme. It does not provide capital funding for the installation of projects themselves.

Funding will be offered for a Stage 1 Feasibility Grant of up to £40k to produce a feasibility study to establish the technical and financial viability of a project, and/or a Stage 2 Development Grant of up to £100k for a more detailed investigation of the technology, for planning applications and to develop a business case.

Who can apply to the CEF?

The fund is for eligible community-based organisations on England with projects that will bring benefits to the local community. These are:

  • Amateur sports clubs
  • Charitable Incorporated Organisations
  • Community Benefit Societies
  • Community Interest Companies
  • Co-operative Societies
  • Development Trusts
  • Faith Groups
  • Pre-commencement societies
  • Registered charities
  • Registered Social Landlords (partnered with a community group)
  • Town or Parish councils

Applicants need to show that a good level of community engagement has been carried out, and that there is genuine community support for the project, including plans for ongoing community engagement.

How will the fund be delivered?

The CEF is a national scheme funded by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero. It will be delivered through the five Local Net Zero Hubs across England, which support the public sector and not-for-profit organisations to develop net zero projects and attract investment.

Eligible applicants should apply to the Fund via their local Net Zero Hub.

Apply for the Community Energy Fund

The North East and Yorkshire Net Zero Hub will run three application rounds for the Community Energy Fund, subject to funding available, with timescales for the first round as follows:

Round 1

  • Open for applications – 05/12/23
  • Close for applications – 05/01/24
  • Successful applicants notified – w/c 19/02/24

Please fully read the guidance document before completing your application form. Please also ensure that you are completing the correct application form for the funding you require. Stage 1 funding is for the completion of feasibility studies, while Stage 2 funding is available for post-feasibility project development.

To apply for the Community Energy Fund, please submit your application and all supporting documents to [email protected] midnight on 5th January 2024

Read more and apply for the Community Energy Fund here.

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