LEAF Update (UK)
By Ben Brangwyn 13th December 2011
Update on DECC’s LEAF fund
Just got some clarification on the dates from CSE
“… if you can’t make the LEAF deadline tomorrow then you are still able to submit for the 20-Jan-2012 deadline. We have had enquiries from many groups who are doing just this.”
“The funding will be issued in two phases as follows:
- Phase 1: Applications to be submitted online by 12 noon on 22nd Dec 2011 – successful applicants to be notified by 10th Jan 2012.
- Phase 2: Applications to be submitted online by 12 noon on 20th Jan 2012 – successful applicants to be notified by 31st Jan 2012.
These phases will be run simultaneously with applicants selecting which of the two deadlines they submit under, depending on how long they will need to apply and how long they will need to implement their project.”
Thanks to Nick Parsons of www.sustainablebuilding.org.uk for the alert.
Hat tip to Transition Dartmouth Park in North London for this info, which builds on an earlier news item on this funding stream.
A UK Transition Initiative got in contact with CSE to get some clarification on a few complex points. Here’s the reply they got:
Many thanks for getting in touch with CSE about the Local Energy Assessment Fund (LEAF). Here are some updates about the fund, and clarification of the eligibility criteria, following discussions at the end of last week with DECC. There were 1000 downloads of the applications in the first two days of the fund being announced – there is clearly a lot of interest in the fund.
- You need to be either legally constituted (i.e. you have a constitution, governing documents and auditable accounts) or be working with another group or partner organisation who is legally constituted and will hold funds for you. This might be your local Parish Council, Local Authority, a local church or community centre.
- Groups that are currently unconstituted could also register as a constituted group with a legally recognised structure so that they will have auditable accounts by next year. It is not important that you don’t have any past accounts at this stage, but you must have the sort of legal structure that will require you to submit accounts next year.
- CSE can’t hold funds on behalf of community groups or organisations for this fund.
- A note on incorporated / unincorporated groups: broadly speaking, an incorporated group means any risks fall on the directors. In an unincorporated group, the directors are not liable for financial risks. This is the option we recommended for community energy projects. The types of legal structure you could take, and how to go about this are more clearly explained in three short videos on the Plan LoCaL website: http://www.planlocal.org.uk/videos/submenus/submenu-legally-recognised.html Transcripts of the films on Becoming a legally recognised entity and Setting up a Community Interest Company or Industrial and Provident Society are also available. (For the full list of film transcripts click here – many of them make good standalone information sheets.)
2. Partner organisations
You are strongly encouraged to include letters of support from local partner organisations as part of your bid. This will show that your project is embedded in the local community.
3. Renewable energy projects
This fund is not intended to pay for single Renewable Energy projects, and is not seen as a replacement fund for community groups who are looking for alternative sources of funds for solar PV installations following the announcement of the FIT review consultation.
4. Maximum / minimum bids
The maximum that could theoretically be awarded is £130,000 but it is anticipated that most applications will be for substantially less than this. There is no minimum value and there is no cap on the total number of groups that could be supported (i.e. there could be more than 200 successful groups). We think proposals are more likely to be successful they are for reasonable amounts to support activities that are realistic given the timeframes, and that will a firm base for future work. This fund is about communities producing an evidence-base for future action and engaging their wider community in understanding the opportunities. Don’t put together a bid to ‘spend up’ £50,000 of funds artificially.
5. Key criteria
Our understanding is that this fund is intended to give communities a head start on the possibilities that are opening up through the Green Deal, the Renewable Heat Incentive and the Feed in Tariff. As such, surveys and assessments of local housing stock and potential for improvements in energy efficiency, engaging local people, and paving the way for take up of energy saving improvements under the Green Deal will need to be at the core of project proposals. This could be described as understanding ‘demand side’ and energy saving potential. This can be combined with understanding ‘supply side’, i.e. your basic renewable energy feasibility for your community.
6. Community engagement
We would encourage groups to use approaches to community engagement outlined in the Plan LoCaL model. http://www.planlocal.org.uk/downloads/group/planning-promoting-and-facilitating-events
7. Modelling household energy data
CSE will, by the end of Tuesday 13th, have a costed model for our methodology for collecting real data and using modelled data to provide an accurate picture for your local area of what the housing stock looks like, current energy use and carbon footprinting, and the most suitable types of improvements that will be
suitable for the housing types that are most common in your community.
8. Renewable energy feasibility studies
A similar priced model will be provided for renewable energy assessments.
Please get in touch with email@example.com if you would like more information on these or other points about the LEAF fund.