A £10 million fund to back community ownership of renewable energy projects has been unveiled.
DECC launched the Urban Community Energy Fund, which will allow groups in England to bid for grants of up to £20,000 or loans of £130,000 to help kick-start their projects including heat pumps, anaerobic digestion, combined heat and power, wind, solar and hydro.
Energy Secretary Ed Davey said: “I want to give more people the power to generate their own electricity and by supporting community energy projects we can – helping them drive down their energy bills at the same time.
“That’s why we’ve pledged £10 million so communities can play their part in generating renewable power at a local level.”
The projects will also get support under the Feed-in Tariff scheme – which pays the owners of small-scale renewable generation for the electricity they produce – for 18 months rather than the usual 12, giving communities more time to get projects up and running.
Those above 5MW of capacity will however not be supported under the subsidy scheme.
DECC also said two projects, in which at least one is community-owned, can share a grid connection but receive separate subsidies and other changes include registered charities being entitled to the same benefits.