Community energy grants available

Communities in the Outer Hebrides who want to improve their community hall or lower their energy bills can now get grants to fund this work.

Seven community groups have already accessed funding from the Outer Hebrides Community Energy Fund (OHCEF) since the scheme opened last year.

Grants totalling £50,000 have been approved so far, with a further twelve projects now in the pipeline. The good news is that there are still grants available for new projects.

OHCEF provides grants to community groups in the Outer Hebrides who want to lower their energy bills, make their facilities warmer and more sustainable, or look at renewable energy projects.

There are funds for energy efficiency projects such as insulation, renewable energy feasibility studies, energy audits, and educational projects such as learning visits.

This scheme is designed to make communities more resilient and self-sustaining through energy related improvements.

OHCEF is funded by LEADER Innse Gall and Highlands and Islands Enterprise and is delivered by Community Energy Scotland, the only Scottish Charity dedicated to community renewable energy development.

Groups can apply for grants of up to £30,000 for capital work, and grants of up to £10,000 for energy audits or feasibility studies.

Lochboisdale Amenity Trust has recently carried out insulation and double glazing work on their community hall.

Ann McCuish says: “Lochboisdale Amenity Trust are delighted with the recent improvements in Talla Chidhe. With funding from OHCEF the trust has been able to insulate the hall properly. The work is only just complete but already the improvement in the ambiance of the hall can be felt. Many thanks are due to the team at Community Energy Scotland; without their help the trust would not have been able to source funding for this work to be carried out.”

OHCEF helps communities to become sustainable by providing funding for community groups who are interested in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. The work funded under the scheme must completed by December 31st 2013.

For further information log on to: website or contact Kirsten Macdonald on 01851 707332 or email