Rural Community Energy Fund

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Our community energy group has only just formed – where do we start?

There are several organisations that focus on community energy and provide online information and resources that can help you. This includes Community Energy England, Centre for Sustainable Energy, Community Energy South, Community Energy London and the Scottish Government’s Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) toolkit. (Note: Some of the CARES resources may apply to Scotland only).

Q: Who can apply?

The Fund is aimed at community groups. Administrative arrangements will only be made with such groups, even if they are supported by a third party. We recommended that enquiries and applications to the Fund should come from a community group direct. Applications for joint ventures may be accepted and would be considered on a case-by-case basis, however a community organisation would have to be the key participant and own at least 50% of the project.

Q: Are town or parish councils eligible? And what about community amateur sports clubs?

Town or parish councils are eligible, provided they are in a rural area. Community amateur sports clubs are also eligible to apply.

Further information about eligibility

Q: Can we apply to fund an energy project for a single building?

Single community buildings would be eligible if they meet certain conditions. The project should enable an amount of energy to be exported back to the grid which is equivalent to that used by the single building. The income from this exported energy must then be used for community benefit. Single buildings that generate their own energy and export excess to other buildings would also be eligible. Community buildings that are generating energy solely for self-consumption without supply to the grid or other buildings would not be eligible.

Q: How do we know for sure whether the location of our project qualifies as rural.

Please consult Defra’s Magic Map and user guide or get in touch with us for advice.

Q: We need to engage the services of a technical expert to support the development of our energy project. Can the Net Zero Hub recommend a consultant?

Many community energy developers have asked us for information about procuring consultants for their projects. We are not able to endorse or promote any specific supplier. However, we have compiled here a set of weblinks to information provided by other organisations, which may be of help. We accept no liability should you choose to engage a specific supplier, which is entirely at your own risk.

Read procurement information

Q: Can you talk me through the Fund in more detail?

We are recording a presentation about the Fund which will be available here soon.

Presentation to be available soon

Please ask!

The list of questions and answers above are popular examples of the many queries we have received. Every project is different, and we are here to help you. So, if you’re unsure, please contact

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