Nine Cornish communities have received an important boost for their local sustainable energy projects after the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) announced that they were amongst 155 energy projects in England and Wales to win funding from the new £10m Local Energy Assessment Fund (LEAF).
Community energy projects in Newlyn, Fowey, Ladock and Grampound Road, Wadebridge and Falmouth have received the news today (6 February) that their bids for funding have been successful. They follow hot on the heels of Polperro Community Group Ltd (PURE), Transition Penwith, St Gennys and The Rame Peninsula who were success in the first round of LEAF funding announcements three weeks ago.
The government’s £10 million Local Energy Assessment Fund is designed to help communities prepare for, and benefit from, the Green Deal, Feed-in Tariff and Renewable Heat Incentive by developing their own energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
Over the coming weeks Community Energy Plus, the Cornish sustainable energy social enterprise, will be providing support to several of the successful communities to help them deliver projects before the end of March 2012. Activity will include assessing the potential for energy efficiency and renewable energy measures, community engagement to highlight the opportunities of low carbon living and renewable energy technologies for community buildings.
Responding to the funding announcement Ian Smith, Managing Director of Community Energy Plus, said: “It’s a real coup for Cornwall that so many communities are actively working on projects to promote energy efficiency and build renewable energy capacity. We were delighted to offer our expertise to help some of the communities to develop their funding bids and are expecting a busy few weeks of providing support to help many of the local projects to achieve their objectives. The LEAF funding will significantly speed-up the development of sustainable energy projects by helping the communities to build a clear picture of their local energy needs and challenges as well as planning how they can be met.”
Department of Energy and Climate Change Secretary of State Edward Davey said: “The big national challenges of keeping the lights on and emissions down can be tackled in small ways in our homes and local communities. These grants are designed to nurture the ideas and enthusiasm of communities up and down the country who want to cut energy use, cut emissions and save money.”