The Scottish Government has awarded over £2.6m to 74 organisations in the latest funding round of its Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) to install renewable technologies in Scotland’s community buildings.
Successful applicants including community halls and hubs, sports clubs and faith buildings, are set to benefit from the installation of renewable technology such as heat pumps and solar panels to provide clean, green power and heat.
The latest funding awards follow the publication in October 2021 of the Scottish Government’s Heat in Buildings Strategy. The Strategy sets out the actions it is taking in the buildings sector to deliver the Scottish Government’s climate change commitments, maximise economic opportunities, and ensure a just transition, including helping to address fuel poverty.
The installation of renewable energy technologies in these community buildings will not only reduce carbon emissions in Scotland’s transition to net zero, but will also reduce the buildings’ operating costs, allowing financial savings to be reinvested back into the communities that the organisations serve.
Organisations to benefit include:
- Birth, Baby and Beyond in Glasgow, which supports local families by providing free baby and child items, has been awarded £12,206 to install an air source heat pump that will allow them to reduce their running costs and become more sustainable.
- Aberdeen Sikh Sangat, which has been awarded £60,878, plans to install solar panels and storage battery, an air source heat pump, LED lighting and other energy efficiency measures as part of its plan to decarbonise its gurudwarda and reach net zero. Reducing its energy bills will redirect financial resources for community projects. It also hopes to increase awareness of renewable technology in the community and inspire visitors to take similar action.
- Parklea Branching Out, who operate a valuable community resource and horticultural therapy project for adults and young people with a range of additional support needs and the wider community of Inverclyde, have been awarded £22,140 aim to install an air source heat pump and LED lighting in the Art Therapy building.
- Fairfield Community Sport Centre, located in an area of Dundee with some of the highest health inequalities in Scotland, supports many community events and runs a foodbank. Through CARES they have been awarded a £39,993 grant and a £32,062 interest-free loan to install solar PV, battery storage and LED lighting.
Chris Morris, Local Energy Scotland Manager, added: “CARES funding is more important and relevant than ever before. As we continue to deal with the impact of the pandemic and rising energy costs, it can help more communities across the breadth of Scotland be part of a green recovery that will deliver a thriving, sustainable economy for all of us.
“Community energy projects have traditionally been very rural in nature, so it’s especially encouraging to see lots of new projects located in urban areas, particularly from groups that have been underrepresented by CARES support in the past.
“Generating their own renewable heat and electricity is a fantastic way to get urban communities involved in net zero projects, helping to tackle the climate crisis and transition to net zero emissions.”
Mr Harvie, Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenants’ Rights, in announcing new funding at the All Energy conference in Glasgow, said: “The Let’s Do Net Zero Community Buildings fund will support community organisations to decarbonise their buildings and reduce energy bills. It will take a whole-building approach covering energy efficiency measures, zero emissions heat installations and small-scale generation.
This funding will help make local and community buildings warmer, greener and cheaper to run, enabling these buildings to continue to deliver essential local services and acting as exemplars so people can experience low carbon technologies in their community. I look forward to seeing the projects help make a tangible difference to communities across the country.”
This funding will help make local and community buildings warmer, greener and cheaper to run.
Patrick Harvie, Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenants’ Rights
CARES is managed and delivered by Local Energy Scotland and was established to encourage local and community ownership of renewable energy across Scotland and to help maximise the benefits to communities of renewable energy systems – whether commercial or community-owned.
Building on this success, a new programme of CARES funding opens on Wednesday 11 May. The Let’s Do Net Zero Community Buildings fund is a rolling programme of funding offering support to community organisations to decarbonise their buildings and reduce energy bills. This support will take a whole building retrofit approach covering energy efficiency measures, zero emissions heat installations and additional small-scale generation where there is a clear benefit to the community organisation in terms of energy bill reduction.
Find out more about the Let’s Do Net Zero Community Buildings Fund.
About the Scottish Government’s Heat in Buildings Strategy
The Scottish Government’s Heat in Buildings Strategy, which was published on 7 October 2021, sets out the short-term actions and long-term vision for decarbonising the way homes and buildings in Scotland are heated, and the commitment to invest at least £1.8 billion in heat and energy efficiency projects across Scotland over this parliament.
This will require the conversion of over 1 million homes and the equivalent of 50,000 non-domestic buildings to zero emissions heat by 2030. This must be implemented via a just transition delivering on our social, economic and climate goals, harnessing the transition across all sectors of our economy and society to build a better and more equal Scotland.
The Scottish Government is committed to supporting the growth of community and local energy in Scotland through its flagship Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES).