Communities across the country long to be able to switch to renewable and low carbon energy supplies. Support for renewables is at an all-time high. But it is hard to get going and work out how to prioritise your limited resources. The Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF) is a scheme devised by the Government to empower rural communities to do this by developing renewable energy projects in their area.
Access to the fund enables communities to maximise the income-generating potential of renewable energy and put it to work locally; to make progress against the Government’s target to increase renewable energy generation, and promote community-owned renewable schemes, and to promote rural growth and job creation.
What funding is available
The Fund has two stages: Stage 1 is a grant of up to £40k for an initial feasibility study; Stage 2 is a follow-on grant of up to £100k for business planning and development work. The Stage 1 grant covers consultancy and professional costs associated with the feasibility study. The Fund has quarterly application rounds. There is no obligation to progress to the Stage 2 grant, but this is a great way to accelerate your project to completion.
A Stage 1 grant would cover all costs associated with a renewable energy feasibility study for the applicant, requiring only minimal input from you. Indeed, part of the grant can be used to cover management costs, for example, paying a management overhead to oversee the delivery of the feasibility study. A Stage 2 grant can cover legal fees for securing access to land, developing a planning applicant, financial modelling, additional community consultation, and more.
Who is eligible for funding
RCEF was created for rural communities less than 10, 000 residents in size and planning a renewable energy project able to benefit the wider community using renewable energy technologies.
Avieco has worked with many communities across the country to develop viable energy projects of all shapes and sizes. We have lots of experience supporting community energy projects – including supporting groups to secure funding to pay for the development work needed for such schemes. If you are unsure if your community qualifies then please feel free to contact us.
How can your community benefit from the scheme
Working with Avieco to develop and deliver a grant-funded feasibility study will mean you have clarity on potential schemes, how they could be delivered and how they will benefit your community. Renewables projects can positively impact your community in several ways, including:
Deadlines & timings
Applications are reviewed quarterly. The RCEF administrators in your region are accepting applications for feasibility study grants now – contact Avieco to find out how to apply.
How we can help
Feasibility studies from Avieco, funded by RCEF, will give you a compelling case for viable renewables projects to benefit your community – at no cost to you. We’ve worked with RCEF fund administrators across the country and know what makes a strong RCEF funding application. We’ve completed multiple RCEF feasibility studies, and many of those communities have gone on to complete a variety of renewables projects.
As well as delivering RCEF-compliant feasibility studies, we can work with you to develop a strong application to the funders, and support you throughout the process. Our recent success stories include supporting Swaffham Prior in implementing UK's first "retrofit" heat network, identifying the best solution for onsite renewables for Cuxton Parish Council and supporting Saxon Weald in making the most of renewable energy systems.
Head over to our case studies to know more about our work.
Register your interest in RCEF
Register your interest
UK-based technology start-up agora is working to transform the way bonds are issued and managed using distributed ledger technology. The…
Oak Furnitureland has the purpose of supplying beautiful and high-quality furniture products made from real wood for real homes. Solid hardwood…
SThree, the only global pure-play specialist staffing business focused on roles in STEM, has consistently demonstrated its commitment to climate…
Let us inspire you
I was impressed with the thoroughness and level of detail that our data set was analysed in. Presenting an extensive data set in an easy to use format was of great value in communicating the outcome of the work internally, and prioritising areas of the supply chain for future action.
Alan Sweeting, Global Health, Safety and Environment Senior Manager, Allen & Overy LLP
Avieco supported us in collating and organising data to develop a robust risk assessment process. They have been easy to work with, responsive to our requirements and pragmatic in their solutions.
Gijs Voskuilen, Head of Corporate Responsibility, Bunzl
Avieco has been the preferred environmental consultant since the beginning of our journey to become a sustainable company. Dentsu Aegis has worked with Avieco’s experts on various areas, such as carbon footprint reporting and assurance support, and recently also advised us how to switch our global network to renewable electricity. The team’s expertise on environmental sustainability is impressive, and the work delivered is always of highest standard.
Lars Holm, Global Senior Manager CSR, Dentsu Aegis Network
Avieco informatively led us through the processes needed to reduce our carbon footprint. With their clear and concise advice we have been able to effectively reduce our energy and waste levels. Avieco made the complex notion of energy efficiency into a manageable and achievable reality
Nigel Pink, Group Engineering Manager, Dominos UK & Ireland Ltd
Avieco delivered exactly the workshop we needed to get our sustainability team and regional leads on the same page when it comes to ‘market-based’ reporting. It’s a challenging area to tackle for a global business – particularly when we operate in a number of markets where there is little or no choice in terms of energy purchasing. Avieco has given us the knowledge and tools to ensure we get our disclosures right – they really exceeded my expectations for what we could achieve in one afternoon!
Dr Julia Rowe, Group Sustainability Advisor, Johnson Matthey
more than a word.