£400,000 prize fund for community energy projects across the UK

M&S Energy and energyshare have partnered to launch an innovative competition to help community energy groups across the UK achieve their sustainable energy ambitions.

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Any not for profit organisation which wants to use renewable energy for community benefit, can apply for up to a £400,000 prize fund whether a community energy group, a sports club, a school or simply an organisation which wants to have a positive impact on the environment.

Following the initial application and shortlisting, the winners will be decided by public vote, enabling local communities to vote on the project they believe offers the greatest benefit to them. There are estimated to be over 5,000 community energy groups currently active in the UK, with over 700 launching every year since 2008.

Announced yesterday at the M&S Plan A 2020 Stakeholder event in London, the M&S Energy Community Energy Fund will offer community energy groups a total prize pot of up to £400,000 divided as follows:

1. Two national prizes of £40,000 and £20,000

2. Regional funding awards for projects across Great Britain that require a maximum of £12,500

3. A Judge’s Prize of £15,000 for the most innovative or inspiring project

'This is a pioneering initiative and we look forward to working with energyshare to make a real difference to community energy projects. The M&S Community Energy Fund will enable a wide range of groups to get their projects off the ground and we’re looking forward to hearing about innovative projects that will benefit local communities across the UK.”, said Jonathan Hazeldine, Head of M&S Energy.

"We are delighted to announce this partnership with M&S Energy," said Rob Love, Executive Director of energyshare. "We know this funding could be transformative for many community energy groups across the UK."

"It's fantastic to see such innovation in community energy coming out of Cornwall thanks to energyshare," said Cllr Julian German, Portfolio Holder for Economy and Culture. "Cornwall's pilot project, energyfund Cornwall was very successful and we welcome this much needed national initiative from M&S Energy. We will be encouraging all our Cornish community energy groups to get involved."

Applications are now open and will close on Wednesday 29th July 2015. The judging panel, made up of renewable energy experts from M&S Energy and SSE, will then agree a shortlist ahead of the final public vote, which opens on Monday 17th August and closes on Wednesday 30th September.

The judges will be considering entries based upon their social and environmental impact and will be scored against a variety of criteria, including:

• A clear business case that gives value for money

• An engaged and supportive community

• A measurable community benefit

In addition to the public vote, there will be one Judges’ Prize for the most innovative or inspiring project, whether in the technology being used or in the group’s approach to the renewable energy challenge.

Full details on how to enter are available at www.mandsenergyfund.com

 

 


"We are delighted to announce this partnership with M&S Energy," said Rob Love, Executive Director of energyshare. "We know this funding could be transformative for many community energy groups across the UK."