Saving energy in your community

A wind turbine set against a mountain backdrop, at sunset

There are ways your community can come together to save energy too. Joining forces can help you to save money on fuel bills by sharing the cost of generating your own power.

And in shared spaces, installing more energy efficient measures could cut the cost of running local community venues. Improved insulation and renewable heat and electricity measures will allow for local communities to reduce carbon emissions, create local jobs, upskill local people, reduce energy costs and overall allow greater investment in local economies.

Scottish Government funded Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) has various funding options currently available to renewable community projects. Development funding of loans and/or grant funding of up to £150,000 is available to support communities and eligible organisations to develop projects, this includes feasibility studies, design, and consenting of new renewable or innovation projects. Enablement grant funding of up to £25,000 can be accessed in order in funding non-capital aspects of projects, this includes start-up costs of feasibility studies, community consultations and other preparatory costs.

CARES is delivered by Local Energy Scotland (LES), with LES development officers available to provide advice and support, including funding support, to community groups and organisations seeking to explore their renewable energy options. Development officers are contactable through their website, or at 0808 808 2288.

The exterior of a town hall in Scotland.

If you’re keen on saving energy or generating your own in your community, plenty of help is available. 

Types of community project

  • Small-scale local power generation installations: measures, including solar PV, can help in spreading the costs across your community 
  • Biomass technology: a biomass boiler could heat large community spaces more efficiently
  • Wind turbine: just one turbine could make huge savings for your community

Sources of funding

  • Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES)
  • Big Lottery Fund
  • Trusts and foundations
  • Community foundations
  • Energy suppliers and local authorities can provide grants