CARES: Let's do net zero community buildings

solar panels on a community building

Please note: This funding call is now closed. 

Achieving net zero means we all need to take action.

Climate change and nature loss are the greatest threats facing the world’s population. They’re not distant far away problems – they’re here in Scotland and we’re seeing the impact. That’s why we need everyone – businesses, communities, industry and individuals – to come with us to net zero and take action to change.

The Scottish Government’s Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) is here to help you and others on this journey to net zero. CARES is offering grant funding, advice and support to community organisations that want to decarbonise their community buildings by installing low carbon or renewable technologies, such as heat pumps or solar panels.

CARES funding is available for many types of community building, including:

  • community cafes
  • community hubs
  • faith buildings
  • public halls
  • community halls and community centres.

CARES has already supported many community organisations throughout Scotland to successfully install renewable technologies in their community buildings. You can read about these projects on our website, including:

  • Inverness Masjid installed solar panels at its mosque, and with further assistance from CARES, installed battery storage too.
  • Aboyne and Mid-Deeside Community Shed installed four air source heat pumps to provide space heating at its community shed.
  • Loch Ness Hub installed solar panels and an air source heat pump to decarbonise the building’s heat and energy supply.

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 (‘local community organisations’) or faith groups.

How much is available?

Through a combination of grants and loans, CARES can fund up to 100% of the eligible project costs. This funding call will operate on a first-come basis.

How to apply

  1. Read the guidance notes.
  2. Complete section 1 of the application form and send this to us as soon as possible. This is an expression of interest that captures a few details about your project and will allow the team at Local Energy Scotland to work with you and support your project from the start of your application.
  3. Complete the remaining sections of the application form and send this to us no later than Thursday 30 September 2021. We cant assess your application until we get a fully completed application form (sections 1, 2 and 3) so we’d encourage you to complete this as soon as possible.

We encourage you to submit your expression of interest early. There is no need to wait until the deadline to submit your details as funds may be fully allocated before this date.

The deadline has been set to allow projects to be delivered and completed by the end of March 2022. Local Energy Scotland will review submissions on receipt, and decisions and awards can be made on a rolling basis. 

Need help?

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

We also have a wide range of support and online tools available which can guide you through the options. We can help you deliver works that can be completed this year, through this funding call, and help you prepare for future support for works that may require longer.

Let's do net zero community buildings guidance

Please read the guidance before filling out your application form

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Our top tips for progressing your renewable project

If you’re applying for the Let’s do net zero community buildings fund, we’ve put together our top tips for progressing your project.

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Requesting quotations from installers

If you’re applying for the Let’s do net zero community buildings fund, we’ve put together some text that you can use when contacting installers for quotations.

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