Bristol Community Energy Fund - Bristol
Bristol Community Energy Fund is an energy scheme created by Bristol City Council in 2015 with the aim of supporting and enhancing local energy production and consumption. More specifically, the initiative supports local groups through grant and loan offers and enable them to develop projects on sustainability, renewable energy and energy efficiency in the Greater Bristol area. The Bristol Community Energy Fund collaborates also with local businesses to support them to contribute to and address environmental and social issues in the city.
- Promote local energy production and consumption;
- Support the development of projects on sustainability, renewable energy and energy efficiency by providing grants and loans to local groups and associations;
- Foster active participation of citizens and their collaboration with the local authorities and businesses contributing to the energy transition.
How it works
The administration of the loan is run by the Community Energy Fund in collaboration with the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE). The organisations wishing to receive a loan need to send an application for a project. The applications are then analysed and selected by a decision panel formed by officers from Bristol City Council and the CSE.
The organisations can use the loan for the following activities:
- Planning application costs;
- Solicitors fees for a landowner lease agreement;
- Solicitors fees for a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA);
- Financial modelling;
- Accountants fees for financial due diligence;
- Preparation and launch of share offer;
- Community engagement and consultation;
- Project management costs;
- Costs of arranging a grid connection.
So far, 39 different projects have been funded through the Bristol Community Energy Fund. The overview of the projects can be found online.
To date, the total amount of grants that have been issued through the grants programme of Bristol Community Energy Fund is £ 223,869. In November 2017, the Bristol Community Energy Fund has distributed £128,000 to local organisations and groups in order to support them to develop innovative projects on sustainability and renewable energy in the Greater Bristol area.
According to a monitoring and evaluation study of the Bristol Energy Network (BEN):
- The Bristol Community Energy Fund developed successful collaborations between new (non-energy) groups and other BEN members;
- The fund managed to reach more vulnerable and deprived areas;
- The participants of the fund found the application process clear and received support valuable;
- Reporting and data collection could be improved;
- The fund would benefit from the organisation of events to share experiences among the different member’s organisations.
Bristol Community Energy Fund represents an innovative initiative contributing to improving the urban governance of the Greater Bristol area and to promoting the sustainability and energy transition in the city. The loans and grants offered to local groups for developing sustainabilityrelated projects empower citizens to become more active to transform their city and connect them to other organisations and businesses. The Bristol Community Energy Fund model could be adapted and applied in other cities thought the collaboration of local authorities with other local stakeholders.