£25.5m VCSE Energy Efficiency Scheme is now open

The £25.5m VCSE Energy Efficiency Scheme scheme is now open to help voluntary, community, and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations in England improve their energy efficiency.

It is part of the package of over £100 million of support announced by the Government at the Spring Budget to help frontline delivery organisations with the increased cost of living. The scheme will be delivered by a consortium of partners, led by Groundwork UK and supported by Energy Saving Trust, Centre for Sustainable Energy, Locality and Social Investment Business.

The VCSE Energy Efficiency Scheme will have two elements:

  1. Eligible organisations can apply for the cost and delivery of an independent energy assessment. This will help identify how to reduce bills through measures such as improving or installing new energy features in the building, or changing how energy is used. These assessments will be useful to organisations whether or not they apply for the second element.

This part of the scheme is now open for applications, and will remain open until August 2024

  1. Organisations with an energy assessment may then be eligible to apply for a capital grant to install the recommended energy efficiency measures in their premises.

This part of the scheme will open to applications in January 2024 and grant rounds will also run until August 2024

An eligibility checker is available here. To apply for an independent energy assessment, organisations must:

  • be based and operating in England
  • be a VCSE organisation, with charitable, benevolent or philanthropic purposes
  • be delivering frontline services or operating a hub (a building) that delivers multiple frontline services
  • be able to evidence the need for energy efficiency support
  • be able to evidence that they are financially sustainable
  • not be suitable for blended finance or loan support through other energy focused schemes.

Additional eligibility criteria will apply to the capital grants. These criteria will focus on the organisation’s relationship to their building and the evidence and impact for the requested energy measures.

Priority will be given to organisations:

  • for whom energy is the biggest concern
  • directly supporting individuals and communities with critical needs, particularly those related to the rising cost of living
  • with a turnover of less than £1m a year.

Practical support will be available to help organisations manage capital installation projects. All measures will need to be installed and paid for by March 2025.

More information on the scheme, including application guidance, is available here.