Rural Community Energy Fund


NOTE: The Fund is currently closed to new applications while we wait to hear about the way forward for future funding from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. However, we would still like to hear from you – please get in touch now to log your interest and let us know about your project For further information about the Fund, please explore the pages in this section (scroll up to menu bar above).

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 Net Zero 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 generation project, and which meet the Fund’s eligibility criteria. This stage offers grants of 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. This stage offers grants of 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.

Please note: The Fund does not support the capital costs of projects such as the purchase of equipment or its installation.

If your community is in the south east region, click on the button below to find out how to apply, and if you have any queries or need any help, please contact

How to apply

Or, if your community is in another region of England, to get in contact with the Local Net Zero Hub for your area CLICK HERE

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