STOP PRESS: All the Hubs are keen to advise on your planned applications ahead of the Fund's official opening so please contact them (see list below) and get your expression of interest in soon.
The new £10million 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.
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 demystify the application process for the new community Energy Fund and included presentations from Regional 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.
Details of how to apply for Round 1 of the Community Energy Fund
The North East and Yorkshire Net Zero Hub is inviting applications for the Community Energy Fund and will be running three application rounds for the Community Energy Fund, subject to funding available, with timescales for the first round as follows:
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, you can find these attached above and on the North East and Yokshire Net Zero Hub website. 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 enquiries@NEYnetzerohub.com by midnight on 5 January 2024.
**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.
Net Zero Hubs - contact your regional hub to discuss your projects and eligability
Connect with your local Net Zero Hub to register your interest in the Community Energy Fund and to be kept up to date with fund news, through your hub.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with a short description of your services and the relevant contact details.
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 LimitedSpecialist 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 get in touch with them.
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.