Community Energy Support

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Support for community energy in the North East and Yorkshire

What is Community Energy?

Community energy is about people taking control of their energy future by coming together to use local resources to manage, generate and save energy in their communities.

Community energy has huge potential to reduce our emissions and move the UK closer to its net zero targets. Community-owned renewable energy projects can help to decarbonise the UK’s energy system by generating clean, low carbon electricity that feeds into the grid.

There are other important benefits, such as reducing energy bills, connecting the community and boosting and re-investing in the local economy, and because the projects are owned by the community, these benefits are felt locally.

Community Energy Fund

Applications for the Community Energy Fund Round 2 are now closed – find out more.

The Community Energy Fund (CEF) is a £10m government grant scheme for urban and rural communities to develop energy services to benefit their local area. 

The Hub will manage the North East and Yorkshire’s share of the fund.

The funding will help to kickstart clean energy  through funding feasibility and development of projects including small-scale wind farms and rooftop solar partnerships, as well as battery storage, rural heat networks, electric vehicle charging points. It can also be used to fund feasibility studies of fuel poverty alleviation schemes such as energy efficiency, retrofit, and advice projects.

Subsidised Energy Audits for Community Groups and Local Authorities

As part of its offer to the community energy sector across the North East and Yorkshire, the Hub is again offering to majority fund specific technical support for Community Groups with an energy audit for a single community building or site. This is open to all community energy groups in the Hub’s region and Local Authorities working with community energy groups.

Energy audits have been cited by community energy groups across the region as one of the pre-feasibility stages of development works that they require financial assistance in accessing. The Hub is looking to support community energy groups that are actively looking to address local energy needs and security with projects that deliver wider benefits for the community. These energy audits will be heavily subsidised by the North East and Yorkshire Net Zero Hub, meaning the applicant only needs to pay 20% of the costs.

Applications to be considered for a subsidised energy audit are open till midnight 02/06/2024 and the audit will be completed, by the Hub’s chosen supplier, no later than 30/09/24.

Find out more and apply here. 

Support for the Regional Sector

The Hub recognises that the community energy sector must play a vital role in delivering local strategic priorities but that it needs support to realise this potential. The Hub has assisted community energy groups through grant programmes including the Energy Projects Enabling Fund and the Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF) and is drawing on this experience to develop a package of support for the local sector. The Hub’s offer is also informed by learnings from an evaluation into RCEF conducted by Steer-ED (which can be read here: Evaluation of the RCEF Programme) and research undertaken by Community Energy South, drawing on the recommendations made in both reports to ensure that support is targeted where it is needed. Read the final reports from Community Energy South here:

Community Energy NEY – Where Now?

Community Energy NEY- What Next?

There is a range of other work going on in the Community Energy sector across the region. Take a look at these useful website links to see what else is happening in this space – Community Energy Website Links

North East and Yorkshire Community Energy Steering Group

The Hub has established a regional Steering Group, bringing together key stakeholders to drive the development of a self-supporting sector with strengthened capability and capacity. The Steering Group’s main objectives are to inform the package of support provided by the Hub, to broker connections and facilitate networking and knowledge sharing throughout the region, and to strengthen links between community energy groups and Local Authorities, seeking to understand how the two can work more closely to deliver local priorities.

The Steering Group has produced a library of resources to support community energy groups – Community Energy Group Resources Library