Community Sustainable Energy Programme supported by the Big Lottery Fund

Community Sustainable Energy Programme

Press Releases

Eco Energy Surge As Lottery Helps Shrink Carbon Footprint

A multi-million pound scheme to help communities become more energy efficient and ease the financial impact of rising energy costs is being announced today by the Big Lottery Fund.  BIG's award of £10.1 million to sustainable energy specialists Building Research Establishment (BRE), will enable communities across England to reduce their carbon footprint.  BRE will manage the Community Sustainable Energy grant scheme to help local organisations tackle pivotal environmental issues by becoming more energy efficient.

The award comes from BIG's Changing Spaces programme, which aims to improve rural and urban environments and enable communities across England to lead healthier and more environmentally sustainable lifestyles.  BIG has to date committed over £182 million to projects helping communities improve and enjoy their local spaces through its Changing Spaces initiative.

Through the Community Sustainable Energy Programme, groups can apply for grants to install small-scale energy efficient technology such as wind turbines or solar panels on sites including village halls, visitor centres or schools. Funding to improve building insulation will also be offered. 

Coupled with those objectives is the drive to inform and raise public awareness of climate change and how altering building methods and adopting energy efficient practices can reduce it.  Development grants are also available to help community organisations research new technologies that will benefit them most.

Sir Clive Booth, Big Lottery Fund Chair, said: "This initiative is about engaging communities in the improvement of their local environments and helping to develop more environmentally sustainable lifestyles.  Increasing energy efficiency and lowering carbon emissions through this programme is a small, but invaluable eco-friendly approach that numerous community organisations can now adopt to reduce climate change.  With the grant from BIG and the expertise of the Building Research Establishment, we can look forward to practical changes at community level across England." 

Peter Bonfield, BRE Chief Executive said: "This scheme will enable community based organisations that often have the enthusiasm, but not the means, to take action on climate change.  The cumulative benefit of a whole host of small projects installing microgeneration technologies will make a really significant contribution in setting us all on a path to a more sustainable future.  The types of grass roots organisations that will be eligible to apply for grants - schools, charities and community groups - have a vital role in both promoting and demonstrating the types of measures we all need to use energy more sustainably."

BRE conducts research, consultancy, training and testing to help create better buildings and communities and were made an award partner because of their experience and expertise in sustainable energy.

Further Information

Big Lottery Fund Press Office: 020 7211 1888   

Out of hours contact: 07867 500 572

Public Enquiries Line: 08454 102030                          

Textphone:  0845 6021 659

Full details of the Big Lottery Fund programmes and grant awards are available on the website:

Notes to Editors

  • The Big Lottery Fund's Changing Spaces programme was launched in November 2005 to help communities enjoy and improve their local environments. The programme funds a range of activities from local food schemes and farmers markets, to education projects teaching people about the local environment.
  • The Big Lottery Fund rolls out close to £2 million in Lottery good cause money every 24 hours, which together with other Lottery distributors means that across the UK most people are within a few miles of a Lottery-funded project.
  • The Big Lottery Fund, the largest of the National Lottery good cause distributors, has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK since its inception in June 2004.  It was established by Parliament on 1 December 2006.
  • Since the National Lottery began in 1994, 28p from every pound spent by the public has gone to Good Causes.  As a result, over £20 billion has now been raised and more than 280,000 grants given out across the arts, sport, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment.
  • The BRE Group is a world leading research, consultancy, training, testing, and certification organisation delivering sustainability and innovation across the built environment.  Its mission is to build a better world by helping clients create better buildings and communities.
  • The Community Sustainable Energy Programme is a grants programme managed by BRE as an award partner of the Big Lottery Fund

    PN 08-01-19  Released:  00.01hrs 15 January 2008