Power to Change, an independent trust that supports community businesses in England, has set up this new £1 million fund and expert support programme to pioneer innovative community-led projects and business models that put community businesses ‘at the heart of energy system change’.
A total of 10 grants of up to £100,000 will be awarded (five during the winter round and another five in the March 2019 round).
The funding is for well established and experienced community energy businesses in England who want to develop innovative business models, building on their past achievements.
Explaining what to expect, Centre for Sustainable Energy’s Head of Local and Community Empowerment, Rachel Coxcoon said:
“Applicants will need to demonstrate that the funding could help deliver a viable, place-based energy business model, but we will not look to prioritise one aspect of the energy market over another – applications focusing on generation, energy efficiency, grid services, local markets, transport, housing or any other aspect of the energy system will be equally welcome.”
Commenting, Power to Change’s Community Energy Programme and Investment Manager, Will Walker said:
“The way we generate, store and use energy is in the midst of a transformation as significant as the invention of the steam engine was to the industrial revolution.
“Bold new ideas are needed, and this fund will not only encourage much-needed innovation, but will also put power into community hands. Ultimately we want to create resilient clean energy communities that can generate their own income, meet their local needs and are less reliant on fossil fuels and global energy markets.”
The programme will be delivered by an expert consortium of organisations with extensive experience in the fields of low carbon energy, community development and finance and social impact. The consortium includes the Centre for Sustainable Energy, Low Carbon Hub, Everoze Partners, Cooperatives UK, Community Shares Unit, Cooperative Futures, Social and Sustainable Capital, and SFW Communications.
There will be a free 45-minute webinar on 20 November (5:30pm-6:15pm). Registration is required.
The first round will open for applications on 19 November 2018 with expressions of interest due by 13 January 2019.
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