DECC Launches LEAF – Local Energy Assessment Fund

On Wednesday DECC announced the launch of a new community energy fund with £10 Million available to help local communities develop energy projects. The fund which is managed by a number of community networks, including Local United, and administered by the Energy Saving Trust, will be run as a competition. There will be the chance for around 200 community organisations to take advantage of the fund and get to grips with energy efficiency and renewable energy generation.

If your organisation would benefit from professional support in developing your project bid, these costs can be covered by your grant up to a maximum of £1000. You will need to identify these costs within your application in the budget section. These costs can only be awarded if you are selected to receive a grant, so you should be aware that any work provided up front on consultancy or professional project development support is ‘at risk’. If you are not successful in securing a grant you will not receive any funding for the work on developing your bid.  If you are paying for this kind of support you should include it in the ‘Revenue Costs’ section of your application, as it cannot be claimed back if it is not included in your application. Along with the other organisations managing the fund, Local United will be offering its support to projects it feels will benefit most from their help and expertise. If you wish to discuss your community project with us in more detail please email


What you need to know -


What can the money be used for?

Money is intended to be used for understanding local energy efficiency and renewable energy generation issues. This work should follow the energy hierarchy, considering energy efficiency first before moving to renewable energy.

Projects supported by the scheme will need to:

  • Have clear community involvement/lead
  • Lead to greater understanding of the opportunities for energy efficiency and renewable energy within the host community
  • Show how they will lead to an increase in installations of energy efficiency and renewable energy measures
  • Show how they will benefit their community in the long term
  • Be cost effective
  • Be prepared to share information with other communities


Who is eligible for funding?

The list of bodies eligible to lead LEAF bids includes:

  • Parish Councils
  • Community Interest Companies
  • Community Co-operatives and Community Benefit Societies (Industrial and Provident Societies)
  • Voluntary Associations
  • Development Trusts
  • Faith Groups
  • Registered Social Landlords
  • Communities of Interest such as sports clubs
  • Local authorities (where they can justify that they are fulfilling a crucial role in support of a community group (e.g. acting as “banker” for an unconstituted community group)

This list is not exhaustive, if you feel that your organisation has the appropriate community benefit structure but is not on this list it might still qualify.


What is the average amount of funding available?

It is expected that on average grants will be in the region of £50,000. The maximum grant available will be £130,000.


What are the project deadlines?

First round of applications closes – noon 22 December 2011

Second round of applications closes – noon 20 January 2012

All work to be completed – end of March 2012


Where can I find more information?


How do I apply?

To apply please visit:

Useful Links

Please click here to view our list of useful links.

Contact Us

To get in touch with Local United please click here.