Monday, 12 December 2011

More support for community energy projects

BedZed, London, Peabody Trust.
The Buildings Research Establishment has just opened another round of the Community Sustainable Energy Programme.

The Community Sustainable Energy Programme will provide £8 million to community-based organisations for the installation of microgeneration technologies , such as solar panels or biomass boilers and energy efficiency measures including loft and cavity wall insulation.

It will also provide £1 million for project development grants that will help community organisations decide if they could benefit from a microgeneration and energy efficiency installation.

The programme aims to achieve the following outcomes:    

  • Reduction in CO2 emissions
  • Increased community awareness of climate change and how changes to our behaviour can reduce it
  • Increased skills base of local trades (for example, local builders and building-service subcontractors working on renewable energy projects for the first time)
  • Reduction in energy bills
  • Reduction in reliance on imported energy and increased independence from commercial energy suppliers
  • Stronger partnerships within local communities with lasting social benefits
  • Growth of local enterprise in new technologies
Due to the opening of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) applications for the current CSEP round will only be accepted for heat generating technologies and energy efficiency measures only.

Deadline for the receipt of completed applications will be 5pm Friday 29 February 2012.

For full details on how to apply please visit the BRE CSEP webpages.

Friday, 9 December 2011

DECC announces launch of two new community energy funds

In addition to the recently launched woodfuel woodland improvement grant (WF WIG) and Farming and Forestry Investment Scheme (FFIS) two more funding sources have been announced.

The Local Energy Assessment Fund (LEAF) and Rural Community Energy Fund are aimed specifically at community energy projects and are potentially very useful for getting projects implemented.

Whilst the LEAF project has demanding timescales it may be possible for some groups to take advantage, particularly if the scope of the project is tightly defined and there are plenty of people willing to get involved.

Details of the Rural Community Energy Fund are still emerging and an announcement is expected in January.


The Department of Energy and Climate Change, has announced a new £10 million fund to help local communities in England and Wales develop energy projects. The fund will run as a “competition”, with the chance for around 200 community organisations to receive up to £50,000 each to understand local energy efficiency, renewable energy generation issues and to get things started in local communities.

The Local Energy Assessment Fund (LEAF) will be managed by a number of community networks and administered by the Energy Saving Trust. This is a short-term scheme where work will need to be completed by end of March 2012.

The deadline for applications is in two weeks so you must act fast!  The first round closes at noon on the 22nd December.

The second round will close to applications at noon on 20 January 2012 with successful communities notified at the end January.

Additional details of how to apply can be found on the Energy Saving Trust's Green Communities website.  Advisors are available on 02920 467 015.

The grant fund is intended to help communities to prepare for new opportunities in sustainable energy and climate change arising from the Green Deal, Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and Feed in Tariffs. The grants can be used to fund projects that follow the Energy Hierarchy (reduce energy use, use energy efficiently, generate renewable energy).


The Chancellor announced in his Autumn Statement, the creation of a £15m Rural Community Energy Fund (2012-2015) that will be developed by DECC and DEFRA.  More details will emerge in January 2012. 

In the meantime full details of funding for community energy projects can be found on DECC's website.

Monday, 5 December 2011

National biomass suppliers database launched

The Forestry Commission’s Biomass Energy Centre (BEC) and the Carbon Trust have jointly launched the National Biomass Suppliers Database - a new way for people to find local and national companies which can supply them with woodfuel.

Since the introduction of the Renewable Heating Incentive (RHI), many more people are considering installing woodfuel-powered heating, but they are often unaware that the woodfuel supply chain is well established in many parts of the country.

The new map-based listing, which is also available on the Biomass Energy Centre website, includes the details of around 300 fuel suppliers operating across the UK.

The new system will make it easy to find the nearest, or preferable, fuel supplier, and the service is free - woodfuel suppliers can be included simply by registering and submitting their details online.

Forestry Commission England recently announced its Woodfuel Woodland Improvement Grant, which will increase the amount of wood entering the supply chain from currently under-managed woodlands.