Community energy groups across Cumbria now have the chance to apply to a new £75,000 fund to help communities understand and tackle energy issues locally.
Power network operator, Electricity North West, has launched the new Powering our Communities Fund to help put community and local energy at the heart of communities across the region from the beautiful Lake District to the bustling city of Manchester and all the places in-between.
The fund is part of Electricity North West’s recently launched Community and Local Energy Strategy which sets out its vision for supporting the growth of community energy to help meet the UK’s target of achieving an 80 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2050.
The new strategy and fund was launched on the back of the results of a recent survey which revealed that only two percent of 1,413 people surveyed in the UK are actively participating in a community energy group, despite 63 percent admitting they would be interested, if they could save money.
Helen Seagrave, community energy manager for Electricity North West, said: “The energy landscape is rapidly changing and we know that community energy is going to play a vital role in facilitating the transition to a low carbon future for the North West.
“We’re delighted to be launching the Powering our Communities Fund to help support local community energy groups and the great work they do in reducing fuel poverty and providing a greener and smarter energy supply.
“Our recent survey clearly shows that there is an appetite within our region for community energy and we want to make that need a reality.”
Emma Bridge, chief executive of Community Energy England, said: “There is a growing desire for individuals to get involved with energy projects and explore how those projects can improve people’s lives and transform communities.
“It’s fantastic to see Electricity North West not only recognising this but also actively supporting communities to develop projects.”
Each group can apply for up to £15,000 to engage communities in energy issues and energy efficiency; support vulnerable customers or reduce fuel poverty; or work towards smart low carbon solutions. Discover more and apply by visiting the Powering our Communities Fund webpage. Deadline is the 19th December.