In December 2023, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) made a significant stride towards supporting environmental sustainability within voluntary, community, and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations in England. The unveiling of the DCMS VCSE Energy Efficiency Scheme marked the initiation of a £25.5 million funding package aimed at bolstering energy efficiency initiatives among these vital community-driven entities.
Objective and Scope
The primary goal of the scheme is to support VCSE organisations by offering financial assistance to enhance their energy efficiency. By doing so, the DCMS aspires to not only reduce the environmental impact of these organisations but also to enable them to redirect saved resources towards furthering their community-centric objectives.
Key Features of the Scheme
- Financial Support. Eligible VCSE organisations can access the funding through independent energy assessments and capital grants. This financial aid is designed to cover the costs associated with implementing energy efficiency measures.
- Energy Assessments. The scheme provides an opportunity for organisations to undergo independent energy assessments. These assessments will serve as a foundation for identifying areas where energy efficiency improvements can be made.
- Capital Grants for Implementation. Upon completion of the energy assessments, organisations can apply for capital grants to fund the installation of energy efficiency measures. These grants are a crucial component of the scheme, aiming to make the transition to sustainable practices financially feasible for VCSE entities.
Application Process and Timeline
The second phase of the scheme commenced on January 18, 2024, and organisations can submit their applications through three grant rounds. The final application window is set to close in August 2024. It is imperative for organisations to apply early to ensure ample time for the installation of energy efficiency measures. All measures funded through the scheme must be installed and paid for by March 2025.
By providing financial support and resources, the DCMS VCSE Energy Efficiency Scheme will support organisations to reduce their carbon footprint and redirect saved funds towards serving their communities. As the scheme unfolds, it is expected to not only drive positive change within individual organisations but also contribute to a broader movement towards a greener and more sustainable future for England's VCSE sector.
To find out more visit the Gov.uk website here.