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Community energy

WPD reopen popular community building energy efficiency grant

From today (12 September), grants have once again been made available to community buildings across Western Power Distribution’s network area in the Midlands, South West and South Wales, to make energy saving improvements.

The Community Chest, funded by WPD and administered by CSE, funds energy-saving measures up to a value of £1,000 to reduce the running costs, and improve the comfort and warmth of community buildings such as village halls. The scheme, now in its fifth round has given grants to over 200 community buildings since 2010.

A total of £50,000 is up for grabs and the grants are awarded on a first come, first served basis, so prospective applicants will need to act quickly. The application process is simple, groups complete a straightforward ‘walkaround’ audit of their building to identify areas where improvements are needed and submit the results with a short application form and quotes for their desired measure(s).

More details, the case studies and application downloads are available from this page.

The types of improvements which can be funded include insulation measures, heating improvements, double or secondary glazing, draught proofing, energy efficient lighting, energy saving appliances and water reduction measures. The grant can’t be used to part fund larger improvements or building renovations.

Groups are asked to carry out their own energy audits in order to help them to understand where improvements can be made. CSE’s Dan Stone, who is managing the project on behalf of WPD, said “Often low cost and zero cost changes can make the biggest difference to a building, so the aim of the scheme is to encourage buildings to look into these things before looking at bigger, more expensive measures like renewable energy installations. We’re really pleased that WPD have reopened the scheme so that even more buildings can benefit”.

This year, successful grant recipients will also be required to hold a community event which showcases the improvements they’ve made and shares knowledge and advice on energy saving with the wider community.

Applications are open from today until Wednesday 30 November 2016 or until the grant pot is exhausted. Grants are awarded on a first come, first served basis.