Rural Community Energy Fund

Introduction

The Rural Community Energy Fund is a £10 million programme that supports rural communities in England to develop renewable energy projects with community benefit. It is being delivered by the five Energy Hubs in the North East, North West, Midlands, South West and South East of England on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.

Clean, renewable energy generation at community level is beneficial both to the community and the wider environment. By reducing dependence on energy generation from fossil fuels, communities can secure future energy supply, gain protection from rising fuel costs and reduce the risk of fuel poverty. Income from renewable projects can be used to provide benefits to the community, create jobs and promote social cohesion.

The aims of the Fund are to:

  • Support rural communities by helping them to maximise the income-generating potential of renewable energy and put this income to work in their local area
  • Increase the uptake of community and locally-owned renewable energy to support the Government’s targets for renewable energy and carbon reduction
  • Enable communities to access the economic and social benefits associated with renewable energy schemes through the promotion of rural growth, job creation and volunteering opportunities.

The Fund offers support to eligible organisations in two stages:

Feasibility Grant

Intended for projects that are at an early phase of exploring the possibility of a renewable energy project, and which meet the Fund’s eligibility criteria. This stage offers grants for any amount up to a maximum of £40,000 to cover the professional costs of developing a feasibility report in a standard format.

Development Grant

Intended for projects that demonstrate a good chance of securing planning permission and being implemented. The Energy Hub will consider further development funding for any amount up to £100,000 to cover more detailed investigation into the key areas of technology selection. This includes the cost of securing a site (such as legal fees), environmental impact assessments, submitting planning and permitting applications and developing a business plan.

If your community is in the south east region, click on the button below to find out how to apply. Or click on the following link to contact the Energy Hub for your local area.

How to apply

Sign up to our newsletter to receive updates

Subscribe