The Scottish Government’s Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) supports communities to engage with, participate in, and benefit from the energy transition to net zero emissions. We support communities to maximise the benefits from renewable energy by supporting the development of electricity and heat generation projects, through to the installation of heat pumps, solar hot water, solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and storage batteries in community buildings.

We recognise that CARES-funded communities and organisations can find it challenging to identify suitable contractors to support capital works – for example, to install a renewables system.

Energy Saving Trust’s Renewables Installer Finder helps consumers find Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS)-accredited installers of renewables systems in Scotland. This free online tool covers domestic installers, many of whom may also work on non-domestic installations.

We have established the capital works supplier list to help communities identify suppliers who wish to undertake community-owned, small to medium-sized installations. We will direct communities to use the list to help them identify suitable suppliers as part of their procurement process.

The capital works supplier list will provide the following details:

  • supplier name
  • contact details
  • technologies installed
  • scale of installation support: under 50kW, 50-100kW, or over 100kW
  • MCS certification number
  • a link to the company’s entry on the Renewables Installer Finder, if registered
  • the areas where the supplier works
  • details of up to three installations undertaken for community renewable projects, where provided.

What is the criteria for joining the list?

To join the capital works supplier list, suppliers must be:

  • a MCS-accredited supplier for the technologies listed
  • willing to engage with communities and respond to invitations to tender
  • be able to provide a full design proposal and build service as a turnkey contract for building scale installations, where this is required. This should include provision of the design, engineering, labour, materials and delivery, installation, monitoring and commissioning.

What support is provided to CARES-funded applicants?

We provide grant and loan funding to communities to assist them in the development and installation of renewable energy projects. The level of funding support available, and the eligibility criteria for this funding, may change and will be determined by the terms of the funding call or agreed support.

Where the proposed technology is covered by the MCS standard, we require MCS-accredited installers to be used. Where the proposed technology is not covered by the MCS standard, we will carry out an assessment to confirm the suitability of the technology.

Current funding calls

There are several current funding calls.

The Let’s Do Net Zero Community Buildings Fund:

  • offers up to 80% of eligible costs up to a maximum of £80,000 per site
  • covers heat, renewables and energy efficiency

The fund is open until March 2025, subject to funding availability. Funded projects have 12 months to complete.

The Let’s Do Net Zero: Off Electricity Grid Communities Fund:

  • offers up to 90% of eligible costs
  • covers upgrades to energy infrastructure, energy storage and renewable generation.

Due to the size of these projects, many may not be suited to a turnkey solution and will be procured separately.

In addition to these, CARES supports electricity generation projects, where installations can be of significant scale.

How often will the list be updated?

The list will typically be updated each month.

The list will run to March 2025. Where the list is extended, suppliers will be contacted to confirm if they wish to remain on the list.

About inclusion on the capital works supplier list

Suppliers will only be included on the list where they have completed an application form and have been approved by Local Energy Scotland staff.

Successful suppliers will normally be listed to March 2025.

Suppliers must retain their MCS accreditation to remain on the list.

Suppliers may request adjustment to their details by re-submitting an application form.

Suppliers may request removal from the list by contacting us.

Where we are advised by a CARES-supported community of concerns regarding the delivery of an installation by a supplier on the list, we will review the concern and seek feedback from the supplier and may remove the supplier from the list.

Download the capital works supplier list application form.

Apply now