The Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF) is being delivered by the five Local Energy Hubs in England on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). The Energy Hub for the south-west is led by the West of England Combined Authority.
Clean renewable energy generation at community level is beneficial both to the community and the wider environment. By reducing dependence on fossil fuel-based energy generation communities can secure future energy supply, gain protection from rising fuel costs and duties 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.
How does it work? – RCEF offers support to eligible communities in two stages:
Stage 1 – Feasibility Grant. For those communities at an early stage of exploring the possibility of a renewable energy project, and which meet the Fund’s eligibility criteria, this stage offers grants of up to a maximum of £40,000 to cover consultancy and professional costs for the development of a feasibility report in a standard format for a specific project. These should be early stage activities without which the installations would not be able to go ahead.
Stage 2 – Full business development and planning grant. For projects that demonstrate a good chance of securing planning permission and being implemented, the Local Energy Hubs will consider further development funding of up to £100,000 to be made available to cover more detailed investigation into the key areas of technology selection. This includes securing a site (legal fees for example), environmental impact assessments, submitting planning applications, permitting applications and developing a full investment business plan.
Want to know more? If you think that you may be able to benefit from the RCEF, we would be happy to talk you through some of the finer detail and if appropriate support your application. We are partnered with energy consultancy company, Renew EV who specialise in this area.
Contact Max at firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance for more information.