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Let’s do net zero community buildings: CARES funding available

Published: August 9, 2021


Achieving net zero means we all need to take action.

Climate change and nature loss are the greatest threats facing the world’s population. They’re not distant far away problems – they’re here in Scotland and we’re seeing the impact. That’s why we need everyone – businesses, communities, industry and individuals – to come with us to net zero and take action to change.

The Scottish Government’s Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) is here to help you and others on this journey to net zero. CARES is offering grant funding, advice and support to community organisations that want to decarbonise their community buildings by installing low carbon or renewable technologies, such as heat pumps or solar panels.

CARES funding is available for many types of community building, including:

  • community cafes
  • community hubs
  • faith buildings
  • public halls
  • community halls and community centres.

CARES has already supported many community organisations throughout Scotland to successfully install renewable technologies in their community buildings. You can read about these projects on our website, including:

  • Inverness Masjid installed solar panels at its mosque, and with further assistance from CARES, installed battery storage too.
  • Aboyne and Mid-Deeside Community Shed installed four air source heat pumps to provide space heating at its community shed.
  • Loch Ness Hub installed solar panels and an air source heat pump to decarbonise the building’s heat and energy supply.

Who can apply?

Applicants must be constituted non-profit distributing community organisations, including organisations with charitable status, that are established and operating across a geographically defined community (‘local community organisations’) or faith groups.

How much is available?

Through a combination of grants and loans, CARES can fund up to 100% of the eligible project costs. This funding call will operate on a first-come basis.

Full information is on the Local Energy Scotland website.

What’s the application process?

Full details of how to apply, including an application form, are on the Local Energy Scotland website.

Interested applicants should complete section 1 of the application form and send this to us as soon as possible. This is an expression of interest that will allow the team at Local Energy Scotland to support applicants from the start of the application process. Early applications are encouraged.

The funding call will close to new applications on Thursday 30 September 2021, or earlier should the funding call budget be reached.

The deadline has been set to allow projects to be delivered and completed by the end of March 2022. Local Energy Scotland will review submissions on receipt, and decisions and awards can be made on a rolling basis.

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