DECC announces £10m fund for community energy

CSE helping groups with bid-writing and other tasks

7 December 2011

A new £10 million fund announced by DECC today (7 December) presents an exciting new opportunity for community energy projects.

The Local Energy Assessment Fund (LEAF) is designed to help communities prepare for, and benefit from, the Green Deal, feed-in tariff and Renewable Heat Incentive. Around £50,000 is available to each successful group (up to a maximum of £130,000) and can be used to:

  • Commission assessments of the energy efficiency of homes and buildings in the community
  • Run demonstration projects of the type of measures that will shortly be available through the Green Deal (e.g. solid wall insulation)
  • Carry out feasibility studies for community renewable energy projects
  • Run public awareness-raising and engagement events

Funding will be available for legally incorporated not-for-profit groups such as voluntary organisations, parish councils, community-interest company, co-ops etc. In some cases a body such as a local charity or even a public-sector body will be able to represent an un-constituted community group by acting as a 'lead organisation'.

Quick response

The Local Energy Assessment Fund is not open for long, and applications are being accepted in two phases. Phase 1 bids need to be submitted to DECC by 12.00 on 22 December 2011 and phase 2 bids by 12.00 on 20 January 2012. Work will need to be completed by 31 March 2012.

More information about the fund can be found on the DECC website and on the website of the Energy Saving Trust which is administering the application process.

What can CSE do to help your group?

Bridget Newbery is CSE's Community Projects Manager. "The government's aim is to give communities a head start on the possibilities that are opening up, such as the Green Deal and the Renewable Heat Incentive.

"It's a great opportunity for some communities to really take that step forward with their energy projects, and CSE is here to help them."

CSE is keen to help groups make the most of this funding. We can help you put together a bid and also provide servicesand/or expertise for delivering a project.

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If you are keen to put in a bid but not sure where to start, some of the things we could help with are:

  • Writing or checking a bid to the fund
  • Carrying out energy audits both at household level and communitywide, or providing the tools to do so
  • Renewable energy feasibility studies for all technologies
  • Identifying appropriate energy efficiency improvements and installing them
  • Putting you in touch with local installers
  • Designing and running community consultations
  • Project and finance management

For more information on how CSE can support for your bid, call 0117 934 1400 or  email

More about how we are responding to the Local Energy Assessment Fund announcement and helping communities make successful bids can be found on this page which highlights some tools and resources that could be useful to groups wishing to apply for funding.

+ +  Update (15 December)  + +

Wow. We've been inundated with requests for help and are already providing supporting to over 40 groups who are putting in bids to the Local Energy Assessment Fund. As a consequence we can no longer offer any bid-writing or bid-checking support for phase-1 bids with a 22 December deadline.

Though of course, community groups can still write us into their bid to carry out that work for them.

And we can still help with bids for phase-2 bids with the deadline of 20 January. If you want to contact someone at CSE about this, please email

And remember, too, that we have a methodology and a costs spreadsheet for helping communities survey their housing stock, identify Green Deal measures, and carry out a renewable energy feasibility study. For copies of these, please email

Rachel Coxcoon adds: "Applicants should allow at least two full days to complete and submit the application form. I applied for funding for the community group I'm part of, and it took me eight hours - and I used to write bids for a living!"

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