Community Energy Fund

In November 2022, we’re launching Hackney Light and Power’s Community Energy Fund.

The fund helps community groups access funding and resources to work with local schools and other public institutions such as faith buildings, nurseries or playschemes to make them more energy efficient.


What is the Community Energy Fund

The fund aims to support community-led innovative energy projects benefiting Hackney – particularly schools and students.

Successful bidders can use the grant for:

  • capital costs for purchasing equipment and materials
  • project costs, such as feasibility studies and consultancy fees

It’s expected that the majority of the costs will be used for capital.

The Community Energy Fund grants target organisations with charitable aims based and working in Hackney. We welcome applications both from experienced energy and environmental groups and from community groups that want to start carrying out energy-related projects.

The fund will help to reduce schools’ emissions and will help community groups to build knowledge of delivering retrofit schemes, which they can share or use to deliver other projects in the borough.
It will also support schools to increase the level of student engagement on energy-efficiency measures as they are installed.

Apply for the fund

The Hackney Community Energy Fund is open to all constituted groups with charitable aims within Hackney who would like to carry out an energy-related project.

The fund is particularly targeted at small organisations with charitable aims based and working in the borough.

We welcome applications from community groups not involved in energy projects. You do not have to be an energy or environmental group, but applications are limited to the following groups:

  • registered charities
  • community and voluntary groups
  • co-operatives
  • faith and equalities groups
  • Social Enterprises Community Interest companies

Community Interest Companies and Social Enterprise will only be eligible for a grant if they operate on a wholly not-for-profit basis and meet the following criteria:

  • 100% of surplus income is reinvested into the organisation
  • the organisation does not have a ‘profit distribution’ clause in its governing documents, which allows it to pay Executive Directors as shareholders
  • Executive Directors must operate in a voluntary capacity

Organisations seeking funding must have a bank account. Applications submitted by a consortium need the lead applicant to have a bank account.

What the fund covers

The grant programme covers all costs relating to a project or activity including:

  • capital costs – to support the cost of a renewable installation or deep retrofit
  • core costs – for example consulting fees, staff or office costs to support the project, but not for general staff costs
  • project costs (for example venue hire, project worker) and project management costs

Projects must aim to save carbon either through:

  • generating renewable energy
  • reducing consumption of energy through retrofitting activities
  • encouraging energy-saving behaviours

Partnership with schools

When assessing applications for partnerships we will be looking for evidence that it is a genuine partnership.

Applications should show meaningful leadership and control over project development delivery by a particular community partner.

We expect established or new community groups to develop a strong relationship with Hackney schools.

What we look for in projects

Projects must show a demonstrable carbon saving. They must benefit the community, particularly schools. The projects should be innovative in either their technology or methodology.

We are not funding maintenance-type projects which, while demonstrating carbon savings, are not innovative.

Innovation and creativity

The fund aims to improve energy literacy and inspire new energy projects across the borough.

We would like to see a wide variety of innovative ideas coming forward.

This does not mean that we would not offer financial help to an established project that fits with the core aims of the fund.

Innovation does not mean using new technology. It can also mean thinking outside the box to create a project that uses existing technology in a new way or shows that your group is trying to bring new methodologies to a project. It must be thinking of a new idea or way of doing things that actually work in practice.


The programme will run in partnership with schools to ensure the education followed by behavioural change is incorporated within the feasibility studies and capital works.

The projects seeking funding from the Hackney Community Energy fund must show excessive engagement with students and teachers to facilitate an understanding of the proposed measures (technology) and the wider benefits for the school and the borough.

We are looking to work with the groups and schools on unique ideas on how to bring the education community together, so they become young advocates for the borough and nation’s transition towards a net-zero carbon agenda.

Page updated on: 1 November 2022