New funds available for communities and public sector
Energy Secretary Chris Huhne has announced £30 million of funding for carbon reduction projects. The funding comprises a £10 million Local Energy Assessment Fund (LEAF) and a further £20 million for the DECC’s existing public sector energy efficiency loan scheme.
LEAF has been set up to provide funding for community energy projects in England and Wales. It is designed to fund work by community groups to understand the potential of community projects for improvements in energy efficiency, and opportunities for local renewable energy generation. Grants from the fund can be used to help finance energy efficiency projects, such as demonstrating energy saving technologies (e.g. solid wall insulation), and educating communities about energy saving measures. They can also be used for renewable energy projects such as area-wide studies to highlight which renewable energy technologies would be most appropriate for an area. It is hoped that the fund will help communities prepare for opportunities arising from the Green Deal, the Renewable Heat Incentive and Feed-in Tariffs,
Around 200 community groups will benefit under the LEAF scheme, with average awards of £50,000. Eligible applicants include parish councils, voluntary associations, development trusts and faith groups. LEAF is designed to be a short-term scheme and work on grant-funded projects must be completed by the end of March 2012. The deadline for applications is 22 December 2011 for the first wave of funding, and 20 January 2012 for the second wave. Applications can be submitted electronically at Energy Saving Trust’s website from today.
The DECC’s public sector energy efficiency loan scheme provides interest-free loans for public sector energy efficiency projects. To be eligible, projects must be able to pay for themselves within five years* through lower energy bills, with savings being used to make repayments on the loan. Once the loan has been repaid the funded organisation will receive direct benefit from the savings. This scheme has so far funded more than 7000 projects in the UK, and it is estimated that the additional funding will enable savings of £46 million and 210,000 tonnes of carbon. Interested public sector organisations can apply via the website of Salix Finance Ltd.
For further information download the information on LEAF from the right-hand side of the page.