Five community groups with ‘bright ideas’ will share £500,000 from Power to Change’s Next Generation Fund.
The schemes, which include community smart lighting, harvesting solar power to charge electric vehicles, and a dedicated energy-saving service for local schools, are the first five to be awarded grants thanks to a pioneering new fund dedicated to supporting community-led energy innovation.
Next Generation, funded by Power to Change, aims to identify and support genuinely sustainable, financially viable and innovative community businesses focused on environmental innovation.
The five groups awarded funding are spread across England, and trialling business models that range from a school focused energy service company, to community-owned solar PV linked to electric vehicle (EV) charging points.
Will Walker, Programme Manager in charge of energy at Power to Change said: ‘We believe more communities should be able to generate their own energy and reinvest the profits to benefit local people.
‘Not only are we supporting these bold ideas, but we will also ensure all the materials and resources emerging from this programme will be made public.
‘We want the whole community energy sector, industry and policy makers to demonstrate how and why community energy businesses should be central to the energy system transformation.’