Energetic South Cambridgeshire! grant scheme for community energy projects
South Cambs District Council has been building up reserves from payments made by wind and solar farms operating across the area. Now the plan is to make some of that money available to local community groups, to bid for funding for energy projects. Each year we will allocate £50,000 to projects, up to £3,000 per organisation, per year.
South Cambs Cabinet approved this scheme on Weds evening. We expect most of the schemes bid for to be about energy saving and efficiency improvements to community buildings, but we are not ruling out ideas such as Electric Vehicle charging points for local use. (I want a hybrid for my next car.)
We also want to look for renewable energy investment income generation, to explore profit share models for larger scale community energy projects.
About ten years ago South Cambs set up Sustainable Parish Energy Partnerships, which encouraged villages to look into energy meters and apply for external grants for energy saving. Whittlesford had one, and we ran a stand at various village events (see pic). The solar panels for our village hall were bid for under a scheme run by the Dept for Energy. Many of our council houses have solar panels giving free energy to householders under a similar scheme. I'm really pleased that this foundation of community interest and encouragement in energy saving has led to this latest proposal.