20 December 2011
The Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) has recently launched the Local Energy Assessment Fund, a new £10 million fund to support community action on energy efficiency and renewable energy. There is around £50,000 available for each successful community to be used to help assess the potential for energy efficiency and local renewable energy generation and to get things started in local communities. Energy Secretary Chris Huhne said that it was hoped this new fund would ‘help spur an energy revolution at a local level’.
The fund will support communities in working to understand and reduce the amount of energy that is used in homes and other buildings, and where local action can help deliver savings of energy, carbon dioxide emissions and money. This work could include:
• energy surveys of buildings (likely to be done by professional surveyors),
• practical energy saving measures and demonstration projects,
• workshops to help local people take action to save energy and
• reports on what more needs to be done in the area.
If much of this work has been done already, then there is the potential to use the fund to further develop work on renewable energy systems.
The new fund will be run as a competition, with the chance for around 200 community organisations to benefit. Interested communities can apply via the Energy Saving Trust. Money will be allocated in two rounds: the first round closes at noon on 22 December 2011 with successful applicants notified in the week beginning 9 January 2012. The second round will close to applications at noon on 20 January 2012 with successful communities notified at the end January.
Funded work must be completed by 31st March 2012. Communities applying will need to show that they can complete the proposed project within this 3 month period.
Given the short time available to apply, community organisations may find themselves needing help putting together an application. Those applying can include up to £1,000 in the project budget to pay for support or advice from third parties in helping to develop funding applications to LEAF.
Ethical Property Foundation advisors are able to assist with LEAF applications and would be happy to discuss the issues with anyone interested in applying, so please feel free to get in touch with us.