We are very pleased to announce that the Community Energy Fund (CEF) is now open to applications in the South West. The Hub will receive a £2 million share of the funding to support successful applicants from across the region.
The £10m national grant scheme has been funded by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero for urban and rural communities to develop energy services in their local area.
The scheme aims to support communities to make progress towards meeting net zero emissions targets while seeing local benefit from the projects they deliver. A range of community-based organisations including Registered Charities, Community Interest Companies (CICs) and Town or Parish Councils can apply to the fund.
The money will help to kickstart clean energy initiatives including local renewable and low carbon energy projects, community electric vehicle projects, energy advice, and energy efficiency retrofit projects.
The fund is intended to remove barriers to investment that are currently preventing the development of community-scale projects. Funding will be offered for a Stage 1 Feasibility Grant of up to £40K and/or a Stage 2 Full Business Planning Grant of up to £100k.
Community-owned renewable energy projects can help to decarbonise the UK’s energy system by generating clean, low carbon electricity that feeds into the grid. Other important benefits can include reducing energy bills as well as boosting and re-investing in the local economy.
Applicants to the fund will need to show that there is potential for genuine community support for their project as well as their plans for ongoing local community engagement.
Jon Rattenbury, SWNZH Programme Manager said; ‘We are delighted to see this funding available to support the development of community energy projects in both rural and urban areas following the closure of the Rural Community Energy Fund. We know there is a demand for this type of support to help groups through feasibility and development and we look forward to seeing the applications coming in.’
The application window closes on 15th January 2024 at 5pm