£8million fund for community energy launched

Low Carbon Heating Scheme ‘opportunity to be seized’

24 July 2012

Community groups in England, Scotland and Wales will be able to bid for a share of £8million to install low carbon heating like solar thermal panels, biomass boilers and heat pumps into homes and other buildings in their local area, Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker announced today.

The Community Low Carbon Heating Scheme is part of  the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) and opens to applications immediately.

Between 50 and 100 projects are expected to get a share of the fund, and the winners will be announced in December this year.

The Energy Saving Trust is administering the scheme, and community groups will need to act swiftly to submit a first stage application by 7 September. Click here to be taken to the Energy Saving Trust’s RHPP pages (scroll down to find details of the communities scheme), and here to be taken to DECC’s.

CSE has developed some guidance notes to help groups submitting applications to stage 1 of the fund, which you can download here.

CSE’s James Ryle was at the launch in London.

“When it comes to low-carbon initiatives, community groups have an abundance of ideas and energy, and we’re sure that many will want to seize this opportunity with both hands.

“But the timescales are demanding, and local capacity for supporting these kind of community initiatives is stretched. So if any community group is considering applying for this fund and wants to speak to us, then please get in touch."

In December 2011, the Government launched a similar fund for communities, the £10million Local Energy Assessment Fund (LEAF), designed to support communities in investigating energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in their area and to help them benefit from policies such as the Green Deal and Renewable Heat Incentive. You can read about how we helped 20 of these groups here.

Read about how CSE has won funding from the Department of Energy and Climate Change to help community groups engage actively with Green Deal and stimulate low carbon housing refurbishment in their neighbourhoods.

And why not have a look at how three groups have brought renewable heat into their communities. These are community-renewables videos made for CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

Solar hot water for community pool in Devon:

How the residents of a small rural community in Sussex installed a woodchip-fired district-heating system - and how the local foresters provided the fuel:

How a Sports and Community Hall in Devon, installed a ground-source heat pump as their latest renewable project:

You can download a copy of CSE's guidance notes for help applying to the fund, as well as further information on some of the support CSE can offer here.

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