Local and small-scale renewables

We have a number of initiatives designed to make it easier for businesses and communities to invest in local and small-scale renewables:

Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES)

We established our flagship Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) with the aim of supporting and growing community and local energy projects throughout Scotland, as well as aiming for a considerable increase in the number of shared ownership energy installations across the country.

The scheme is delivered on our behalf by Local Energy Scotland, who have a network of development officers based throughout Scotland to provide assistance and guidance to applicants and potential applicants.

A total of £5 million has been made available in 2018 to 2019 for eligible applicants.

A host of financial support options are available to applicants, including:

On a quarterly basis, the CARES panel holds a meeting to assess loan and innovation grant applications. However, enablement grant applications can be awarded at any point in time outwith these quarterly meetings. 

View application closing dates on the Local Energy Scotland website.

The scheme is open to a host of different groups and organisations, including:

  • BenCom and Co-operatives
  • community groups
  • faith groups
  • housing associations
  • local authorities
  • national and regional non-profit organisations
  • rural SMEs

We have set an ambitious target: to install and complete 1 gigawatt worth of community and locally owned projects by 2020, with a further additional 1 gigawatt targeted for 2030.

At present, approximately 692 megawatts of community and locally owned energy projects have been installed and are now operational – this is almost 70% towards the 2020 target.

Find more information on the Local Energy Scotland website

Resource Efficient Scotland

We launched the Resource Efficient Scotland programme in April 2013 to combine support to businesses and the public sector on energy, water and material efficiency through a single integrated programme, with an aim to:

  • reduce carbon emissions
  • prevent waste
  • realise financial savings for organisations and increase economic competitiveness

The programme offers free, specialist advice and support to businesses to implement energy, resource and water efficiency measures that will reduce carbon emissions and translate to cost savings.

We are committed to supporting small and medium sized Scottish businesses to reduce energy and resource costs for businesses. Reducing operating costs not only improves margins but can help make businesses more competitive. 

The SME Loan currently provides unsecured loans from £1,000 up to £100,000 for the installation of energy efficient measures such as lighting and heating upgrades, double glazing, insulation and much more. 

Find more information on the SME Loan on the Resource Efficient Scotland website.

Home Energy Scotland Loan

Through the Home Energy Scotland loan scheme we are helping homeowners make energy and money-saving improvements to their homes. 

Funding up to £38,500 per home is available to owner occupiers and eligible registered private sector landlords in Scotland. 

This covers a range of improvements including:

  • energy efficiency improvements
  • home renewable systems
  • connections to an approved district heating scheme powered fully or partially by a renewable energy source
  • energy storage systems

In addition, cashback grants are available for a limited time for certain energy efficiency improvements. 

Find more information on the Home Energy Scotland Loan on the Energy Saving Trust website, or call 0808 808 2282 (free from landlines and most mobiles).