Achieving net zero means we all need to take action.

The Scottish Government’s Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) is here to support communities to engage with, participate in and benefit from the energy transition to net zero.

The new Let’s Do Net Zero Community Buildings Fund from CARES will help community organisations reduce their building energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions. The fund is now open and is planned to run until the end of March 2025, subject to funding availability.

Funding is available for many types of self-managed community buildings, including:

  • village halls
  • community centres
  • community hubs
  • sports facilities
  • faith buildings.

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:

  • Cairnlea Parish Church installed two air source heat pumps and now has a cosy hall to restart its community activities
  • 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, or faith groups.

Some common community organisation structures include:

  • Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations (SCIO)
  • Private Companies Limited by Guarantee (CLG)
  • Community Benefit Societies (BenCom)
  • Community Interest Companies (CIC).

Organisations that are constituted but unincorporated may also apply but must provide additional information.

How much is available?

Grant funding is available for up to 80% of eligible costs, up to a maximum of £80,000. Please read the funding guidance on our website for full information.

What’s the application process?

Full details of how to apply, including an application form, are on the Local Energy Scotland website.

Local Energy Scotland Community Buildings Funding round last year managed to attract an enquiry or application from every local authority area in Scotland.  They managed to commit over £2.6m of funding to help community buildings to decarbonise and to support excellent projects. You can read more about this on their website.