Round 2 is now open for the majority of the regional Net Zero Hubs. 

All the Hubs are keen to advise on your planned applications ahead of the official applications windows opening so please reach out to the contacts listed below to ensure that they can assist you in optimising your application before submission.

Please click on the links below to take you to the relevant regional information on this page: 

Great South East Net Zero Hub

Midlands Net Zero Hub

North East and Yorkshire Net Zero Hub

North West Net Zero Hub

South West Net Zero Hub

The new £10 million Community Energy Fund (CEF) will initially be based upon the same criteria as the previous Rural Community Energy Fund, although will be opened up to applicants from urban areas. 

The aim of the fund is to help kickstart projects including small-scale wind farms and rooftop solar partnerships, as well as battery storage, rural heat networks, electric vehicle charging points, and fuel poverty alleviation schemes - all proposed, designed and owned by local people.

It also aims to:

  • Empower local people to develop energy projects to benefit their local areas
  • Projects will generate clean energy, such as rural heat networks or rooftop solar, while kick-starting private investment to scale up projects
  • Support local jobs and growth, build stronger communities, and enable places to directly benefit from clean, affordable, locally sourced energy

This page will provide you with tools and resources to help you craft a successful application to the fund and will keep you updated on developments and updates, as we hear about them. 

Webinars and CEF Events 

Community Energy Fund Webinar
If you missed our exclusive webinar, in collaboration with the Net Zero Hubs, it is now available on our YouTube Channel here. The event was intended to help explain the application process for the new community Energy Fund and included presentations from Net Zero Hub officers, who are responsible for administering the fund. They gave insights into the application process and guidance on how to enhance your chances of success. 

You can download the presentation from the webinar here. See also the CEF Resources and Help section below.

The North East and Yorkshire Net Zero Hub is hosting a webinar on 10 April at 10am to provide an overview of the programme and the funding available, lessons learned from the first round of funding and to provide an opportunity for interested groups to ask questions about the fund. You can sign up to the webinar here.

Details of how to apply for Round 2 of the Community Energy Fund 

Regional Net Zero Hubs across England have officially launched their applications for the Community Energy Fund. Please be aware that there are regional variations in timing and how they are processing applications. Please note that feedback from the Hubs is to contact them for feedback ahead of submitting your application. The most successful applications to round 1 were from organisations that had been in contact earlier.

To help you in this process, we've consolidated key information for each regional Net Zero Hub, on this web page, along with all relevant guidance and application forms:

Great South East Hub  - Round 2 is open

Round 2 Dates 

Open for applications – now 

Application deadline – 8 April 2024 *please make sure you submit full applications and not expression of interests at this deadline

**Before applying for Stage 1 funding you should submit an expression of interest form to the Community Energy Fund team at the Greater South East Net Zero Hub.

Please contact CEF@gsenetzerohub.org.uk if you have any questions about the application process.

Midlands Hub - rolling application process is open 

The Midlands Hub has a rolling application process. Applications received by the hub will be reviewed at a board review meeting, the dates of the boar review meetings are;  

4 June 
9 August
8 November

Please contact the Midlands hub by emailing CommunityEnergyFund@NottinghamCity.gov.uk to receive information about the application process and guidance documents. 

North East & Yorkshire Hub - Round 2 will open on 4th March 2024.

Round 2 Dates 

Open for applications – 4 March 2024 

Application deadline – 5 May 2024 

Please contact enquiries@NEYnetzerohub.com if you have any questions about the application process.

More details about the fund, the application forms and guidance documents, can be found on the North East and Yorkshire Net Zero Hub at Community Energy Fund - North East & Yorkshire Net Zero Hub (neynetzerohub.com).

People can sign up to the Net Zero Hub’s mailing list which we will use to share information, funding and training opportunities relating to Community Energy and linking to our partner’s opportunities and info, by emailing enquiries@NEYnetzerohub.com.

North West Hub -Round 2 is open

Applicaton packs for Stage 1 or 2 will be availablet do download from the hub website from 18 March. 

Application deadine - 6 May 2024 

You will be asked to submit a short expression of interest form that provides details of your project proposal. Organisations that submit an expression of interest that responds to the CEF eligibility criteria will be invited to submit a full application.

Please email NWNZHub@liverpoolcityregion-ca.gov.uk with any questions related to the North West Hub application process or if you have any technical issues downloading application information. 

South West Hub - Round 2 is open

Round 2 Dates

Open for applications – 13 February 2024 

Application deadline - 25 March 2024 


Please contact swnetzerohub@westofengland-ca.gov.uk if you have any questions about the application process.

Please fully read the guidance document before completing your application form, you can find these attached above and on the Net Zero Hub websites (linked above and below).

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.

**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.

Please contact your regional hub to discuss your projects and eligibilit, contact emails are above for each region

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CEF Resources and Help Available 

Several CEE members are able to provide support and services to help with project development. We want to add more members to this list - if your (member) organisation is ready to help with CEF projects, please contact us at members@communityenergyengland.org with a short description of your services and the relevant contact details and/or add your details to the experienced practitioner spreadsheet below.

Various experienced CE practitioner members have offered to help (on a paid for basis) with applications, feasibility and development. Please note: CEE does not endorse or recommend their services. Unlike traditional consultants they are all keen to pass on their expertise so that you will be more equipped to do it yourself in future (which is now allowed under the funding guidance). Please see this spreadsheet for details of experts who could help you. If you would like to offer your expertise via this spreadsheet please add your details here. The Net Zero Hubs plan to set up a 'Dynamic Purchasing System' to enable community energy organisations to find the best consultant for their needs. This will be live and promoted via the Hub from March. Once live community energy sector experts and consultants can apply to offer their services via the DPS.

Communities for Renewables CIC (CfR)

CfR is not for profit CIC with over 10 years of experience working with communities to develop local energy schemes, including using Community Energy Fund grants to cover project feasibility and initial development costs. CfR’s approach is to use the funding to get projects as far as possible through the development process, rather than just producing a feasibility report. CfR can provide follow-on at-risk funding to complete the development of projects and help with construction capital raising, contractor procurement and ongoing operations management. CfR has helped develop and finance over £70million of community energy projects and looks after 50MW of community owned solar across England.

To see some examples of community energy schemes that have been developed with Community
Energy Funding, and how CfR can help see: https://cfrcic.co.uk/10million-community-energy-fund/ 

Hydrock Consultants Limited

Specialist energy, sustainability and engineering consultancy, Hydrock can help community groups, town councils and charities with their approach to securing CEF funding and the delivery of clean energy projects. 

Freddie Ashford from Hydock has written a blog with some fantastic tips on steps your organisation can take to help you be fund-ready and outlines how Hydrock can suppport you through the process of your project design, development and delivery. You can read the blog here. If you'd like to speak to Hydrock about how they are able to support your organsiations, please reach out to either Ben Bowler or Freddie Ashford

Our Community Enterprise CIC (OCE)

OCE is an employee-owned CIC with most of their work around climate, biodiversity, and community energy issues - they help good people do great things.

OCE has developed an expertise in Community Shares, led by Directors Michael Beaven and Maria Evans. They have developed and supported share offers for community energy organisations MaidEnergy, Reading Hydro and Tollesbury Climate Partnership which collectively have raised over £2m.  They also help projects get to the point of a share offer, and have been involved all the way from project idea to actual implementation (eg Advancing Innovation Community Energy Awards 2023 case studies).

OCE can provide support with financial modelling, project development, community consultation and engagement, developing Community Share offers and associated business plans, Standard Mark assessment where they have not been involved in developing a share offer, project management, mentoring and training, and development of new business models.  If you’d like to discuss your ideas and needs, please contact them.

Scene Connect

Scene Connect are offering support to communities to apply for CEF funding and to support the delivery of energy projects. Sandy Robinson from Scene Connect has written an excellent blog with some tips on what makes a successful community energy project, as well as information about how Scene Connect may be able to assist your community organisation. You can read the blog here

Scene Connect have many years experience in planning, designing, managing, and implementing community-led low carbon projects in the UK, and internationally, and can offer a range of services to community organisations to help develop projects. If you are interested in talking to Scene about your ideas please get in touch with them.