The rural community energy fund (RCEF) is a grant to support rural communities in England to develop renewable energy projects, which provide economic and social benefits to the community.

A whole range of community groups can apply for the fund. These could be parish councils, charities, local groups with a specific interest in the environment, or any legally constituted group with a community focus.

Projects delivering a whole range of sustainable energy technologies, including solar power, wind turbines, hydropower, heat pumps, and anaerobic digestion can be supported.

The RCEF grant will support the upfront costs involved in getting a project to a position where it is ready to start on site. However, it does not pay for the capital costs of the technology. Capital funding can be through borrowing money against future income from selling electricity, or from an issue of community shares. It is expected different finance options will be considered through a feasibility study.

Available funding

Funding of up to £40,000 is available for stage one feasibility studies into sustainable community energy projects. This is the maximum award. Smaller projects which require a lesser amount of feasibility funding are also encouraged. For larger projects, up to an additional £100,000 can be secured through a stage two development bid.

Full guidance can be found at teesvalley-ca.gov.uk/business/key-sectors/energy-and-renewable/rural-community-energy-fund, or please email [email protected] to be put in touch with our RCEF project officers.

Page last updated 05/11/2019