Money on offer for urban renewable energy projects


Incorporated community groups (registered companies, charitable incorporated organisations, registered societies and parish and town councils) can apply for grants of up to £20,000 and contingent loans of up to £130,000 for proposed renewable energy projects in urban areas that have the support of the local community. (Urban areas are defined as settlements with more than 10,000 people which do not lie within a predominantly rural local authority area.)

Grants of up to £20,000 are available for the more speculative, early stages of a project’s development, such as public consultation and preliminary viability studies.

Loans of up to £130,000 are available to develop planning applications and a robust business case to attract further investment. The loans are meant to help projects become ‘investment ready’, that is, to get them to the point when they can secure a bank loan or another form of investment.

The technologies that will be considered under Urban Community Energy Fund (UCEF) include the following:

  • wind turbines
  • hydropower
  • solar photo voltaic
  • solar thermal
  • ground, water and air source heat pumps
  • anaerobic digestion
  • biomass
  • low carbon/renewable heat networks
  • gas combined heat and power (CHP) units

The first deadline for applications is 22 December 2014. However, there will be further application deadlines at the end of January, February and March 2015. From April 2015, the application deadline is likely to be every second month.

UCEF is a revolving fund, which means that money that is provided to applicants who receive a loan will be recycled back into the fund upon repayment. This should enable the fund to be self-sustaining.

For more information and to apply, please go to GOV.UK