M&S Energy has unveiled the winners of its £350,000 Community Energy Fund.
The scheme saw nearly 80,000 people vote for their favourite project to win funding so they could install renewable technology or energy efficiency measures in community spaces.
A total of 26 projects ranging from schools, sports clubs and a pub have been awarded grants.
One of the winners of the South Regional Prize was a bus company called The Big Lemon. Founder Tom Druitt said: “We’re thrilled to have won the regional M&S Energy Award for our Solar Bus project. This will enable us to cover the roof of our depot in solar panels so we can run our new electric buses on renewable energy.
“As far as we know there is nothing quite like this in the country yet, so this award will help us push the boundaries of what is possible and bring a zero carbon, zero emissions bus service to our community.”
A panel of judges including ex-Energy Secretary Sir Ed Davey and other industry leaders also awarded a further seven projects up to £12,500 each.
Sir Ed Davey added: “All the winners will make a real difference to their local communities, made possible through this fund. The level of community support during the voting stages is a clear confirmation that community energy is thriving and communities around Great Britain want and need it – more so at this time of uncertainty in the community energy field.”