24 May Grant funding for Community Energy Projects
Community Groups, Parish Councils and Town Councils located in rural areas are able to access special grant funding designed to support feasibility studies for development of new community renewable energy projects.
The grant funding is called Rural Community Energy Feasibility scheme (known as RCEF for short) and is available for applications now. There are two phases of funding worth £40,000 and £200,000 respectively which can pay for feasibility studies and in phase two even things like planning applications. There is no guarantee it will be available indefinitely so it is worth engaging help to work out how you can use it.
How it works
Community groups and other eligible organisations can apply for funding when they have a suitable project. This suitability is assessed in a pre-application stage and many fail at this hurdle due to lack of quality of the projects being submitted. You will be asked to identify experienced consultancies to tender for the study works and this is also the same for any small sub sections of the study which require specialist consultant services such as legal, financial or other specialist advice. Once projects pass this stage there is a full application (which is a significant undertaking) and can take a couple of months to receive a response. Once the funds are approved you are given a confirmation letter and an agreed time period to complete the study.
How we help?
Fortunately, our team are experienced in assisting communities prior to their application, helping them identify suitable projects as well as supporting the application process itself (although not the tender process itself as this has to be run and decided on by the applicant to remain independent). We are fortunate to have been successful in winning tenders to support communities for the actual feasibility studies as well and can offer our full range of renewables expertise to assist with solar, wind, heat, efficiency and electric vehicle infrastructure projects.
We can’t emphasis enough how important it is to ensure you have a solid project to take forward with an applicant which is why we offer a development service to identify and short list and then package up projects for communities looking to do this. There is a cost to this, but the dividends are worth it as it increases the likelihood of securing the valuable RCEF funding stages beyond and for some organisations who are less experienced in energy projects it can also help them become a successful community energy company in their own right. Our development work can support the creation of a programme of projects to decarbonise a village, town or Parish or just identify individual projects.
RenewEV specialism in Community Energy
We have been operating in the renewable energy sector, constructing renewables of all kinds and sizes over 15 years. Within that time, we have been very fortunate to have worked on numerous community energy construction projects, mostly involving Solar rooftops and ground mounted solar projects. Our experience extends outside just solar into most other renewables and including renewable heat and electric vehicle charging as well. We are currently assisting new and existing community energy companies with projects just like this involving RCEF, which includes our ongoing work with Bath and West Community Energy, one of the most experienced community energy companies in the UK. One final thing to mention, we are part owned by a community energy company, meaning a proportion of our profits every year goes back to community benefit fund projects supporting fuel poverty and carbon reduction.
To find out more or tell us about your community project ideas you have received call us on 07771 865115 and ask for Alex or John or contact us via our website contact page.