The fund was created from the amalgamation of our successful Powering our Communities Fund and Vulnerable Customer Grants. The combination of the two funds means more money is available to empower even more communities across the North West.
Groups can apply for up to £15,000 for projects that engage local communities in energy issues or support the development of a community energy project.
Criteria are broad and applications are accepted from a range of organisations including community benefit societies, industrial provident societies, charities, schools and local authorities.
The funding can be used to support a wide range of activities including producing materials, buying equipment, supporting staff time or technical expertise and much more.
Empowering our Communities Fund projects 2019-2020
We are pleased to announce the successful community and local energy applications to this year’s Empowering our Communities Fund. We are committing a total of £75,320 to the following projects.
Zero Carbon Electric Homes – Lune Valley Community Land Trust
This project looks at the feasibility of providing electricity from 100% community-owned renewable energy schemes to 20 affordable rented and shared ownership homes and 20 homes for people over the age of 55, all Passivhaus standard, built on adjacent sites in Halton in 2020.
North West Community Energy Hub – Cumbria Action for Sustainability
This project supports the establishment of a hub for the North West community energy sector. The hub will support the sector to increase the rate of deployment, innovation and growth, and increase the amount of resources and skills available to community energy groups in the North West.
POSH Bites – Youth Focus NW Ltd
This project will bring together groups of at least three young people from 11 local authority areas who are interested in protecting the environment and improving energy efficiency. The aim of the project is to produce and promote 11 short ‘sound bites’ (audio-visual footage) which promote energy efficiency. The groups will meet at least three times during the project as well as working individually with support from a youth worker.
GMCR Energy Savers – Greater Manchester Community Renewables
This project will support Greater Manchester Community Renewables to work with three schools in Salford where they have already installed solar panels. The project will expand the impact of these schemes by engaging with the local community on energy issues and provide opportunities for pupils and parents to learn about the climate emergency and how they can play their part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Community Centre – Energy Reduction Action – Dalton Community Association
This project will deliver the final steps of a low carbon retrofit of a community hub in Dalton-in-Furness in Cumbria. The story will be promoted via short videos and leaflets to inspire action in the local community.
Power in the City – Carbon Coop
This project will produce three podcasts, exploring the past, present and future of energy in the Manchester region. Each episode will concentrate on different elements of the system, featuring interviews and stories from workers, officials and customers, as well as archive material. The outcome will be three informative, entertaining and accessible podcasts which will each provide hands-on tips about taking an active role in today’s energy transition.
The fund also supports local organisations to work closely with us to help support our vulnerable customers. This year we are funding 12 vulnerable customer partnerships.
The Empowering our Communities Fund will re-open later this year so keep an eye out here for more information.