Solar panels

QUESTION: How to obtain funding for solar panels on a community building?

ANSWER: by Catherine Ross, Open and Sustainable Churches Officer

Its worth talking to them about two key things first:

  • There are different models for solar panels. (1) They pay for the panels, own the panels, and get all the benefits (2) They go down the community energy route, where the community jointly pays for the panels, owns them, and shares the benefits (3) They lease the roof to a private company and are in effect paid rent. Pros and cons; which are they imagining? 
  • If they are in model (1), are they looking to raise money for the preparatory costs (architects, planning fees, structural survey) and/or are they looking for the funding for the installation itself?  It's worth separating these out in their minds, because the panels should pay for themselves over time, so it may only be the preparatory costs they need, and this may be easier to raise. 

In terms of funders, I would start by pointing them this to the guide "4. National List of Charitable Grants for Churches" on the Parish Resources website 

And then here are a range of specific funders that are interested in environment / community energy / energy efficiency:

It's also worth them speaking to their local council (especially if a climate emergency has been declared locally) ... a few councils reserve some of the funding from developers to pay for local improvements. 

There is a good guidance note on the HE website here and on the London Diocese website here.  Finally, this is a case study I wrote in my previous job, in case it's useful.

 

 

 

 

For further support contact: Catherine Ross, Open and Sustainable Churches Officer, catherine.ross@churchofengland.org, Tel: 0207 898 1865