Grant Funding

Smart Energy GB
The Smart Energy GB in Communities grants programme for 2020 is currently seeking applications from organisations to help engage people aged over 65 to help them overcome the barriers to engaging with and benefitting from the smart meter rollout. 

The closing date for applications is 21 February 2020. 

Power to Change Research Institute
The Institute is inviting expressions of interest for high quality research projects on volunteering in the community business sector in England, including from community businesses themselves and organisations that represent or support them. They are particularly interested in partnership bids between researchers and community businesses. Funding of up to £50,000 per project is available with 2-3 research projects funded in this round. Please see the call documentation for full details about previous research they have funded and how to apply. The deadline for expressions of interest was 10am on Monday 3 February 2020 and full proposals will need to be submitted between 10 and 24 February. 

Community Partnering Fund
Leeds Community Foundation is working with Northern Gas Networks and Northern Powergrid to provide grants of £1,000-£10,000 to help community groups to deliver schemes that tackle issues such as alleviating hardship associated with fuel poverty and promoting innovative energy-related environmental impact, energy efficiency or carbon reduction. Applications for the next round of funding will open on 21 January 2020 and close on 3 March at midday. A further funding round will run from 5 September to 15 October 2020.

Veolia Community Grant
Available to constituted not-for-profit organisations and local authorities to improve buildings or outside spaces for the benefit of the community.

The stage one application form should be submitted by 12pm on 5 March 2020.  

Aviva Community Fund   
Aviva is offering grants to organisations that are working on projects that will increase community resilience and build communities through fresh thinking. They make decisions every three months.

Community Shares Booster Scheme 
Community Businesses can access up to £10,000 to help launch community share offers, and up to £100,00 match funding when the share offer goes live. 

Community Renewable Energy Funding
The Naturesave Trust provides start-up 'seed corn' grants for community renewable energy projects. They are keen to help communities, in particular, that do not have the initial start-up capital to undertake all the preliminary work. The projects considered must be from community groups and companies who seek funding for specific renewable energy projects. 

There are no deadlines for applications and no limits on the number of applications you can make. The Trustees aim to make a decision on applications within six to eights weeks of receipt of a completed application form.

Energy Redress Scheme
Energy Saving Trust has been appointed by Ofgem to distribute payments from energy companies who may have breached rules. The Redress Scheme funding is available to support a wide range of activities, from engaging vulnerable customers to installation if energy saving or renewable energy measures. The amount of funding available through the scheme varies throughout the year and will be reviewed on a quarterly basis in October, January, April and July.

Foundation for Integrated Transport
FIT provides grants for projects that tackle climate change emissions from transport. They welcome informal approaches from organisations who meet their core objectives. They make decisions on grants quarterly throughout the year. 

OLEV Grant Schemes for Electrical Vehicles
The government offers a range of grant schemes to support the wider use of electric and hybrid vehicles via the Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).

Rural Community Energy Fund
The Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF) is a £10 million programme which supports rural communities in England to develop renewable energy projects, which provide economic and social benefits to the community. RCEF provides support to rural communities in two stages and is being run by five regional Local Energy Hubs. If you would like to register your interest for the scheme, or would like further information, please contact the relevant hub for your area. You can find your local energy hub through this link

Location-based grant funding

The Community and Environment Fund
The Community and Environment Fund (CEF) has been created to add benefit over and above committed mitigation and statutory compensation to communities along the route that are demonstrably disrupted by the construction of Phase One of HS2 from London to West Midlands. To find out about eligibility click here. This fund is ongoing so there is no set deadline yet.

Blackstone Edge Wind Farm Community Benefits Fund
Local areas located within a 5km boundary of the wind farm at Blackstone Edge, West Barnsley can apply for a grant for projects focusing on environmental protection, energy conservation, sustainable transport and promotion of civic responsibility/community development. 

Energy Efficiency Grants for SMEs in East Sussex
Grants of up to £1,000 to cover 40% of the cost of an energy efficiency project, such as LED lighting, insulation or heating controls. Small and medium-sized businesses, social enterprises and charities in East Sussex (excluding Brighton & Hove) can apply. 

Green BELLE Project
Grants of £1,000 to £10,000 are available to small and medium-sized enterprises looking to cut CO2 emissions and reduce their energy bills in Leicestershire. Please note that they have allocated all of their funding and so are no longer accepting grant applications but they do offer a place on the waiting list.

West of England Local Energy Scheme
Communities in Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire can apply to the West of England Combined Authority's (WECA) £500,000 grant funding scheme to support innovative, small-scale renewables projects. Find out more here, or email Deadline February 2020

Council Climate Funds

Camden Council Climate Fund: Community Energy Grant – Open until 31st March 2020

Islington Council Community Energy Fund (ICEF) – Next round opens in autumn 2020

Research Grants

UK Climate Resilience Grant

This research grant aims to fund projects that will raise awareness of what it means to work with uncertainty to build climate resilience in the real world and deliver useful knowledge (narratives, learning histories, case studies, film and other material) to further inform practices and behaviours that build confidence in practical approaches to living with uncertainty and community and environmental resilience building.

The deadline for applications is 27 February 2020

Grant Funding Organisations

Big Lottery Fund
Funding pots for community groups. 

Charities Aid Foundation
CAF offers a variety of banking, investment and loans solutions as well as grants for a variety of causes. 

Community Foundations
Community foundations manage funds from individuals, businesses and other donors who want to support causes in their local area.

Ebico Trust
Grants to fund support, education and research into fuel poverty of energy efficiency improvements to local housing stock. 

Esmee Fairbairn Foundation 
Finance for community energy (grants and social impact loans). 

Friends Provident Foundation
Grants for projects that address the issues of economic resilience and systems change in different ways. 

Greggs Foundation
Grants for projects aiming to make a difference to a local area with clear consideration given to the environmental and social impact of the project. Further details on the Local Community Projects Fund here and Environmental grants here.

Joseph Rowntree Foundation
Grants for projects working to tackle climate change, poverty and rebalancing local economies, resources and resilience. 

Naturesave Trust
Grants to fund community renewable energy and social enterprise projects. 

Power to Change
Grants to help new and existing community businesses grow and become more sustainable. The Community Business Fund awards grants between £50k and £300k to established community businesses that need funding for a business development project to make their organisation more financially sustainable. So far they have funded energy efficiency measures for community buildings owned by the applicant organisation with the aim of improving financial viability. 

Sainsburys Family Charitable TrustGrants to fund registered charities or activities with clearly defined charitable purposes. For further details please see here.

Social and Sustainable Capital (SASC)
Simple and flexible financing for charities and social enterprises.

Financing Organisations

Charity Bank
Loans to charities, community groups and social enterprises (£50k - £2.5m) for capital projects.

Coop Financing
Finance for community groups. Loans from £10k - £75k available, but can increase to £150k. 

Capital revolving loan fund for RE projects (100kW - 5MW) (set up and overseen by BIS). Loans available for development costs (feasibility), bridging loans (planning stage to construction) and short term loans to cover construction. 

Ethex has a track record of successfully raising more than £70m for over 70 enterprises from a committed network of more than 15,000 people who want to use their money to create impact. Over £50m of the funding raised has been for community energy projects. 

Pure Leapfrog
Finance and support for community energy.

  • Community Energy Fund: draws on a credit facility from Big Society Capital (social impact fund), which can be augmented through donations.
  • Bridge Finance: £30 million revolving loan facility from BSC to support large scale community energy projects.

Thrive Renewables Community Bridge Financial ModelThrive Renewables will finance community energy organisations to help them acquire renewable energy technology. They have already supported communities with a £12 million investment into wind and solar projects across the UK. They can structure their investment as pure acquisition, joint ventures or mezzanine loans also. 

Triodos Community Renewables Underwriting Facility (T-CRUF)
Triodos Bank UK has launched a unique new patient capital product aimed at helping community organisations to acquire, build and own renewable energy assets for the benefit of their local communities. As many as 10 community groups could benefit from accessing T-CRUF over the next two years. The facility is available when a community energy group uses the Triodos Bank crowdfunding platform to raise capital through a community bond issue.

Crowd Funding:

Crowd Funder