County Council agrees £0.25 million investment fund for community energy projects

An investment fund, to support community run renewable energy projects in Hampshire, is to be established by Hampshire County Council

May 13 2022

The ‘Revolving Community Energy Fund’ will invest up to £25,000 for any individual community project being launched in Hampshire as part of the Community Energy Pathways project. 

Councillor Jan Warwick, Executive Member for Climate Change and Sustainability at Hampshire County Council, said: “I fully support this move and am very happy to agree that we create this new fund. Realistically, if Hampshire is to become carbon neutral this can only be achieved if residents take action within their own communities. As a County Council, we can help by kickstarting investment, together with advice and leadership, to get projects that will generate local renewable energy off the ground.”

The aim of the fund is to stimulate significant community investment in renewable energy across Hampshire. Investment in a share offer will enable a community to operate a renewable energy scheme and earn income. Once a scheme is operational, it should then attract additional shareholders and/or secure borrowing against the assets of the existing scheme, enabling it to be extended to a wider community base.

Any profits that result from community schemes will go back into the Revolving Community Energy Fund (RCEF) for investment in other community schemes, making it a sustainable funding mechanism for the long-term. 

The RCEF will build on the work of the Community Energy Pathways programme, being delivered by Community Energy South, to establish a thriving Community Energy (CE) network across Hampshire, with communities setting up local energy projects that are funded by the community for the benefit of the community.  

Hampshire County Council has been working with Community Energy South since 2019, as part of the County Council’s Climate Change Strategy. Residents seeking further information on the RCE Fund, should email: climatechange@hants.gov.uk

The Revolving Community Energy Fund decision report can be found online: https://democracy.hants.gov.uk/documents/s94750/Report.pdf