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New funding launches to help Southwark’s community buildings go green

30 October 2023

Southwark Council has launched a new fund for community groups, schools and faith groups  to make green improvements to their buildings. Southwark Community Energy Fund is now open for applications from all groups with charitable or not-for-profit aims which are based or work within Southwark.

The fund will distribute grants of up to £50,000 to support community energy projects that produce renewable energy (such as solar panels or heat pumps), improve the energy efficiency of their buildings and reduce carbon emissions. There is also funding available to help groups of residents or neighbours come together and form a community energy group or cooperative. Example projects include:

  • solar panels and batteries
  • heat pumps
  • insulation and retrofitting
  • LED lighting
  • other innovative ideas, such as new technologies

The application window is open until 22 January 2024, and advice is available from council officers by emailing communityenergy@southwark.gov.uk.

The council is holding a free online information event on 14 November 2023 at 2pm, which is open to all interested residents to find out more and ask questions directly to the team.

Cllr James McAsh, the council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Emergency said “I am delighted to launch Southwark Community Energy Fund, which will offer vital funding to our community groups, schools and faith groups to help them make their buildings more environmentally-friendly.”

“Helping community energy to blossom in the borough is a key part of our work to make Southwark carbon neutral. As a council we are working hard to reduce our own emissions, and this funding will help our residents to join us on this journey and take community-led climate action.”

The council has designed the fund and its application process in collaboration with the community energy sector. Speaking about this new fund, Syed Ahmed, Chair of Community Energy London said: "Southwark's new Community Energy Fund is a powerful example of the borough's commitment to see community climate action help support its Net Zero ambitions for the borough. Community-led projects are core to the energy transition and I am sure that this funding will bring forward many exciting new initiatives."

The are four streams available for applicants, which cover a range of different stages in project development. Applicants should consider which stream best fits a project or idea before applying. If you're unsure, the council team are available to help advise.

  • Stream A – Pre-feasibility development
  • Stream B – Feasibility studies for new projects and business case development
  • Stream C – Capital funding for project implementation and delivery
  • Stream D – Capacity building, training, events and engagement

The fund is for community buildings and is not available for private residential properties. It is also not available for commercial groups and organisations.

Full information on the fund, including details on requirements, eligibility and scoring criteria are available via the webpage www.southwark.gov.uk/community-energy

Page last updated: 30 October 2023

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