- About us
- Our work
- Get involved
- Getting community energy involved in Local Enterprise Partnerships
- The energy system is in flux, let’s ready ourselves for a community takeover
- Celebrating a strong year for energised communities at CfR
- Community Energy at the forefront of disruptive change in the energy sector
- Meet your MP about community energy this Community Energy Fortnight
- We can do more to foster community energy in low-income communities.
- What next for community energy in a post-FIT world?
- A new generation of investors are using their money to drive change
- People, Power and Happiness
- A review of CEF17
- Community energy, a magic bullet for a multitude of charitable objectives
- Community Energy Fortnight Lobbying Pack 2017
- How smart technology is empowering rural energy projects
- Community energy is not just what we do, but how we do it - By Ed Mayo, Co-operatives UK
- “It's all still to play for" says Co-op Energy's Head of Renewables
- York Community Energy trip round the panels of Auld Reekie with Edinburgh Community Solar
- The Ramblers: Protecting the places we love to walk in a changing climate
- Why Community Energy Fortnight is so important - By Emma Bridge
- CEF17 is Powering Together!
- Community Energy Fortnight 2017 dates announced and news of a new collaboration
- The community energy revolution is evolving, and the future’s bright
- Investing in community energy schemes
- Energising faith communities: the Spirit project
- Community Energy - the way forward
- CEF16 dates announced
- The community energy revolution pushes on in face of storm clouds
- Blogs 2015
- Blogs 2014
The Urban Community Energy Fund: opportunities for community renewable projects across England
James Watt from the Centre for Sustainable Energy, joint administrators of the Urban Community Energy Fund, tells us how pleased they are with the range of applicants so far and encourages more groups to investigate opportunities in their local area.
The Urban Community Energy Fund (UCEF) launched in November 2014 to sit alongside its sister fund, the Rural Community Energy Fund, to aid the development of community owned renewable installations in England. Since the launch we’ve had applications from groups across the country looking to start up their own ambitious renewable energy projects. The main principles between the two funds are the same, up to a £20,000 grant for early stage feasibility work with up to a £130,000 loan available for the more detailed development work.
We’ve been pleased to see a good mix of types of groups applying so far, from the ‘typical’ community energy cooperatives to resident’s associations and community councils. What’s even more encouraging is that we’re starting to see groups understanding the importance of partnership approaches, whether that’s with a housing association, a local authority or a local business. Making the most of local asset owners is vital in urban areas, particularly for rooftop solar projects, as it is allowing groups to deal with a limited number of land owners which helps keep legal costs down, whilst maximising the potential capacity of their project.
It’s not just all about solar though, even if that has been technology of choice for the majority of applicants so far. There are currently groups exploring the possibility of water source heat pumps, hydroelectric turbines and anaerobic digesters in their communities. We’re encouraging groups to look at the different opportunities across their local areas and work with the resources available. While solar PV installations are straightforward, dealing with multiple buildings to scale up the project to a worthwhile size isn’t an easy job. So if you know of body of water that could be suitable for a hydro plant or water source heat pump, or are aware of local organisations which create waste products with the potential for AD, then why not explore the feasibility of that? We’ve seen some really innovative ideas so far and are looking forward to seeing more!
While the aim of UCEF is to fund projects of scale and ambition, it shouldn’t just appeal to those groups that might have been on the community energy scene for a while. We met up with Hartlepower CIC recently who were awarded just over £6,000 to investigate a range of possible technologies for the Hartlepool area. The support and funding from UCEF has given them the confidence to get things started and although they admitted that community energy isn’t well understood in their area, they hope to change this in the long term by inspiring and supporting other groups in the north-east of England.
If this all sounds like something that you might want to find out more about you can get more details through the UCEF webpage and if you’d like to see a map of some of the successful UCEF applications so far click here. To speak to one of the UCEF team call 0800 038 6345 or email us at email@example.com.
Click here for details about the Rural Community Energy Fund.
24th July 2015