Achieving net zero means we all need to take action.

The Scottish Government’s Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) is here to support communities to engage with, participate in and benefit from the energy transition to net zero emissions.

The new Let’s Do Net Zero Community Buildings Fund under CARES will help community organisations reduce their building energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions. The fund opens in May 2022 and is planned to run until the end of March 2025, subject to funding availability.

Funding is available for many types of self-managed community buildings, including:

  • village halls
  • community centres
  • community hubs
  • sports facilities
  • faith buildings

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 or faith groups.

Some common community organisation structures include:

  • Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations (SCIO)
  • Private Companies Limited by Guarantee (CLG)
  • Community Benefit Societies (BenCom)
  • Community Interest Companies (CIC).

Organisations that are constituted but unincorporated may also apply but must provide additional information.

How much is available?

Grant funding is available for up to 80% of eligible costs up to a maximum of £80,000. Please see the guidance for full information.

How to apply

  1. Read the full funding guidance to find out if your organisation, building and improvements are eligible. We’ve also put together some answers to frequently asked questions to help you work out if the fund is right for you.
  2. Choose your technology. Get an Energy Audit from Business Energy Scotland, an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) or feasibility study that justifies your technology choice. You can also start getting quotes from installers (see our funding guidance for more information).
  3. Complete an application form and return it to us as soon as possible.
  4. You have 12 months to complete your project from the date its approved.

Need help?

If you are interested in developing a renewable energy project in your community building, but aren’t sure where to start, help is on hand from Local Energy Scotland staff in your area.

We also have a wide range of resources and online tools available which can guide you through the options.