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Member Bulletin - Nov 2021

Updates from Scotland's only national charity dedicated to supporting communities to develop their own renewable energy projects.
Read on for:
Scottish Government Heat in Buildings Strategy

You may recall we submitted our response to the Scottish Government's Heat in Building Strategy consultation a few months back. The full strategy has now been published and here is a summary of some of the key commitments:

  • Between 2021-2026, the Scottish Government will provide £1.8 billion of capital funding in heat and energy efficiency to help secure the accelerated rollout of both energy efficiency and zero emissions heat measures. A Green Heat Finance Taskforce will also be established to attract private investment to raise the five-year figure closer to £2.5 billion.
  • A large majority of buildings should achieve a good level of energy efficiency by 2030, and all homes should meet at least equivalent to an EPC band C standard by 2033 ((where technically and legally feasible and cost-effective).
  • A 68% reduction in emissions from heat in buildings by 2030 (relative to 2020 levels).
  • The vast majority of the 170,000 off-gas homes in Scotland, as well as at least 1 million homes currently using mains gas (around 50% of the total), must convert to zero emissions heating by 2030.
  • A ‘people-centred transition’ by way of a bespoke public engagement strategy for heat in buildings, aiming to raise awareness and enabling people to actively participate in shaping policy.

Find out more by accessing the full strategy document below.

Scottish Government's Heat in Buildings Strategy
Scottish Government's Draft Heat Networks Delivery Plan (HNDP) Consultation
This draft delivery plan sets out how the provisions of the Heat Networks (Scotland) Act 2021, and related policies, will contribute to the increase of heat networks across Scotland. The Scottish government are looking  for early feedback on several aspects of the regulatory framework. 

You can respond to this consultation until 13th Dec 2021.

Respond to the consultation
Community Electric Bikes on Papa Westray
Four new electric bikes have arrived in Papa Westray, Orkney, which complete the fleet of community transport options made available by ReFLEX Orkney. In collaboration with the Papay Development Trust, Community Energy Scotland arranged the delivery and secured the funding for the ebikes via the UKRI funded ReFLEX Orkney project. 

The ebikes are owned and managed by the Development Trust and will eventually be available to hire by the local community and visitors. This arrangement offers an opportunity for the community to trial an inclusive option for active travel under a shared ownership model. We hope this will enable and encourage more people to consider cycling as a transport alternative, which can have health, wellbeing and social benefits.
Outer Hebrides Community Climate Action

We are excited to announce a week of online events about community action on climate change in the Outer Hebrides. The Community Climate Action Week will take place from the 22nd to the 26th of November and will see a number of free online events celebrating local community climate projects and exploring opportunities for further individual or collective actions for sustainability.

During the day events will focus on information and support available for community organisations and development trusts with input from local and national experts and the evening will see a series of “Community Stories”, accounts from community organisations across the Outer Hebrides of the climate friendly projects or actions they are already undertaking.

Communities can pick and choose which events they would like to attend throughout the week, all of which aim to raise awareness of what work in already being done locally linked to climate action, as well as what future projects might be worthwhile for communities to explore. Tickets for the events, which will provide online joining details will be released in the week of the 15th. The event is being supported by Peatland ACTION who are dedicated to delivering peatland restoration across Scotland. 

To register and find out more about the events, please go to our Eventbrite page and, if you have any questions, get in touch with Matthew Logan at:

CES Eventbrite Page
NETWORK 76 in Motion
Community representatives at our N76 meeting in Penpont earlier this week
We’re delighted to announce that the first year of work on our new project Network 76 in Motion (N76) has now been fully funded. The project proposal was developed in collaboration with 6 community trusts in Dumfries & Galloway and East Ayrshire, and sets out a 5-year phased approach to developing a sustainable low carbon transport network within Mid and Upper Nithsdale, The Glenkens, the southern locality of East Ayrshire and beyond. The first year will focus on community consultation and capacity building; including baseline data gathering, a programme of events, and local transport plans produced with each participating community.

A massive thank you to Paths for All, Dumfries and Galloway Council, National Lottery Awards for All, and the Annandale & Nithsdale Community Benefit Company, for providing the support required to make this happen. We will very shortly be recruiting for a project officer based in Dumfries & Galloway or East Ayrshire to lead delivery of this project, so please keep an eye on our jobs page and our social media if this is of interest to you or someone you know.

Peatland ACTION - Delivering peatland restoration across Scotland
Peatland ACTION is helping to restore damaged peatlands in Scotland and, with funding provided by the Scottish Government, has supported the restoration of over 25,000 hectares over the past 10 years. Peatlands in good health are valuable carbon stores and have many benefits for people and nature.

The Peatland ACTION Fund is currently open for applications and will primarily support on-the-ground restoration activities.

Get in touch with them to find out more about the programme, the eligibility criteria and how to apply.
Find out more
UK Government - Community Ownership Fund

The Community Ownership Fund is a £150 million fund over 4 years to support community groups across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to take ownership of assets which are at risk of being lost to the community.

The fund aims to:

  • provide targeted investment for communities to save community assets that would otherwise be lost
  • strengthen capacity and capability in communities to support them to shape their places and develop sustainable community businesses
  • empower communities in left behind places to level up
  • strengthen direct links between places across the UK and the UK government

Round 2 will open in December 2021.

Find out more
SSE - Sustainable Development Fund (Highland)

SSE's Sustainable Development Fund is looking to support projects that can achieve significant impact in local communities and meet the following criteria: 

  • increase opportunities for education and employment
  • empower communities – build resilience and protect vulnerable residents
  • build sustainable places – stimulate meaningful community regeneration

The funding stream is only open to projects in the Highland region right now but streams for other locations are expected to open in 2022 and 2023.

The deadline for Highland applications is 19th January 2022. 

Apply to the fund
Investing in Communities Fund - Information Webinars

The Scottish Government's Investing in Communites fund is due to re-open next year and they are running webinars for prospective applicants over the next few weeks. This is an opportunity to gain an overview of the fund’s aims, eligibility criteria, application process and to ask questions.

The Fund aims to support community anchor organisations based in the places they serve by delivering activity across the following four areas:

  • tackling poverty and inequality;
  • sustaining place-based approaches;
  • community-led regeneration;
  • ensuring a just transition to net zero.

The webinars will last one hour and are planned for 1030-1130 on Tuesday 30 November 2021, and 1400-1500 on Wednesday 8 December 2021.

Find out more
Community Energy Scotland Annual General Meeting

Our AGM will be held this year on Friday 17th December 10am - 1pm on Zoom.

We'll be sending out further details soon, including a link to the zoom meeting, for anyone who would like to attend.

Get in touch with our new Charity Enterprise Development Officer

Community Energy Scotland have appointed a Charity Enterprise Development Officer. Funded by the Scottish Government’s Adapt and Thrive scheme, the aim of this newly created post is to secure new partnership work and develop community energy projects which support the needs of our members and community groups across Scotland. 

We look forward to working with both existing and new community groups who share our vision for community energy. To discuss project ideas, to learn about funding, or to seek new partnership opportunities, please get in touch with our new Charity Enterprise Development Officer, Arabella Kennard:

Workshop: Community business: Making it easy
Community Shares Scotland, in partnership with Co-operative Development Scotland and the Plunkett Foundation, are holding an online workshop aiming to simplify support and highlight the benefits of ownership for community enterprises. 

The free event, on Tuesday 23rd November at 10:00am, includes speakers from several successful community businesses including The Old Forge Community Benefit Society, Dunbar Bakery, People’s Powered Retrofit and Projekts MCR.

Register for the workshop
Community Energy State of the Sector Event Follow-up
After our Reflection on the State of the Sector Report, CES is keen to hear members’ views and to look at different ways we can support our membership. We will be thinking through these issues over the next few months and looking to provide further members’ events in due course. 

If you have a topic or an area you’d like to discuss with peers, let us know your ideas. There’s going to be an opportunity at our AGM on 17th December to generate some ideas together for further members’ events, but please get in touch if you have an idea before then.

Contact us at:
COP26 – Community energy update
Greener Kirkcaldy Senior Engineer Advisor, Kitty O'Connor, and Community Energy Scotland Development Officer, Matthew Logan, attended COP26 on behalf of CES. They had access to both the Blue and Green Zones and spent considerable time at various events and meeting a variety of interesting folk.
Kitty and Matthew kept us up to date with some of the goings-on during their visits with their Twitter posts, and in our next Bulletin we'll have a round-up of their experiences, the highs, the lows and the learning. In the meantime, keep an eye on our website and social media for some of their observations and encounters.
Community energy challenges and action on energy poverty – third party surveys

Two significant community energy surveys are in circulation at the moment: Energy Rev’s ‘Barriers and Obstacles to Community Energy’ led by Heriot-Watt University (around 20 mins to complete) and REScoop’s ‘Understanding community energy action on energy poverty in the EU and UK’ (5-15 mins to complete). See links below. 

The information collected could be a significant contribution to principles closely aligned to Community Energy Scotland and other community energy organisations. Please feel free to complete the surveys if you can find some time to do so. 


Energy Rev Survey link 
REScoop Survey link

Guest bloggers wanted!

We'd love to hear from our members on the hot topics of the day. Need blog inspiration? There are plenty of significant events coming up over the next few months to draw inspiration from including:   

February 11th 2022: Day of women and girls in science 
March 26th 2022: Earth Hour 
April 1st 2022: Fossil Fools Day
April 22nd 2022: Earth Day 

Whatever the topic, we would love to hear from you, with the aim of sharing it on our website and social media channels. 
300 – 600 words is a good guide and the SCVO have some useful blogging tips here.

Please send your blog material to and you can also ask Cath for help in putting something together. 

In the meantime, why not check out our most recent blog from CES' very own Eibhlin Lee. 

Eibhlin Lee's Blog
Introducing New Members

Our member network continues to grow and we'd like to extend a big welcome to the following new community members that have joined CES over the last year or so:

  • Scourie Community Development Company
  • Independence from Drugs & Alcohol Scotland
  • Uigshader Living Forest Project Ltd
  • Peebles Community Trust
  • Linlithgow Community Development Trust
  • Glasgow Community Energy
  • Zero Carbon Daviot
  • Knocknagael Ltd
  • Peebles CAN
  • Comann Eachdraidh Eirisgeidh (Eriskay Heritage)
  • Strathard Community Trust 

We have also had 54 Supporter members join up! This is a new member category for those with an interest in our work e.g. students, individuals, businesses, and other registered organisations that are not constituted community groups. 

Welcome all!

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