If you are interested in applying for CARES support please read the general guidance note before reviewing the supplementary guidance for each of the funds. This contains details of the current funding themes and eligibility. We would encourage you to submit a project proposal form in the first instance and contact your local development officer if you need more help or information. 

The Scottish Government’s Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) offers a range of financial support to local energy projects. The main funding streams for new applicants are:

  • CARES Enablement Grant – Up to £25K are there to help you get your project started and can be used to fund feasibility for energy systems or renewable energy projects, investigation of shared ownership opportunities or work to maximise the impact from community benefit association with renewable energy projects (these can be applied for at any time).
  • CARES Development Loan – Up to £150K can be provided for renewable energy projects with a reasonable chance of success. The loans can include a write-off facility that allows development risk to be mitigated.    
  • CARES Innovation Grant – Up to £150K  to either fund local energy system innovation activity or improve the viability of projects by grant funding elements of the project. It can also be used to support the replication of CARES innovation projects that have worked well.

To find out if your organisation is eligible have a look at our eligibility table.



Guidance for applying to CARES

Thinking about applying for CARES funding? Read this first.

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Application rounds

Find out about the application rounds and deadlines for the CARES quarterly funding panels.

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Enablement grant

Get funding to help towards the costs of feasibility studies, community consultation and other preparatory costs. Apply at any time.

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CARES development loan

The CARES Loan offers funding of up to £150,000 to take forward renewable energy generation plans for communities and rural businesses. Apply to a quarterly panel.

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Innovation grant

Grants of up to £150k to support organisations taking forward innovative local energy projects aligned with CARES objectives. Apply to a panel.

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Local Energy Challenge Fund

Funding was available for large scale, low carbon projects which demonstrated local energy economy approaches, linking energy generation to use. The fund is now closed, but you can view the projects supported here.

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Energy Investment Fund

Funding for community renewable energy projects that have successfully gained planning permission.

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State aid information

Find out more about state aid and how it applies to CARES funding.

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Improving Consumer Outcomes Fund: Energy

The Fund is designed to support proposals that investigate how to develop practical solutions to address consumer inequalities around energy issues which can then be promoted to industry for adaptation, adoption and replication.

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