State aid information

Local Energy Scotland awards grants and loans in compliance with state aid rules. This can be either as a Block exemption (see State Aid Block Exemptions) or as De minimis funding (see De minimis State Aid funding information). 

A determination has to be made as to whether or not state aid applies to the project applying for funding. The four tests, should be applied first and if state aid is present either block exemptions or De minimis should be applied. 

The four tests

For State Aid to be present, four tests set by the EC must be met. If there is strong evidence that at least one of these tests is not met, then there is unlikely to be State aid present. Local Energy Scotland believes that any grant given out as part of this programme will automatically fulfil two of the tests.  The tests are:

  1.  There has been an intervention by the State or through State resources which can take a variety of forms (e.g. grants). This test is automatically met as the grant funding we award is ultimately a resource of the public sector.
  2.  The intervention gives the recipient an advantage on a selective basis. Again, this test is automatically met because the grants we award are selective in nature, and alleviate the beneficiary of costs it would have to bear from its own resources. This provides the beneficiary with an economic advantage as a result of those costs being met by public funds.
  3. Competition has been or may be distorted. 
  4. The intervention is likely to affect trade between Member States. An advantage granted to an undertaking operating in a market which is open to competition will normally be assumed by the European Commission to be liable to affect trade between Member States. Public support can be considered capable to affect intra-EU trade even if the recipient is not directly involved in cross-border trade. For instance, the subsidy may make it more difficult for operators in other Member States to enter the market by maintaining or increasing local supply.

Further information on the State aid tests is available on the website of the Scottish Government’s State Aid Unit, and on the website of the European Commission


State Aid Block Exemptions

General Block Exemption Regulation

The Community and Renewable Energy Scheme grants and loans have been notified to the European Commission under its General Block Exemption Regulation (Commission Regulation {EU} No 651/2014), to ensure compliance with EU rules on State Aid. The scheme number is SA.51726

Further information on General Block Exemption Regulations is available to download here.


Agricultural Block Exemption Regulation

This scheme has been notified to the European Commission under its Agricultural Block Exemption Regulation (Commission Regulation {EU} No 702/2014), to ensure compliance with EU rules on State Aid. Full details of this regulation can be accessed here. The scheme number is SA.48822. 

In particular, awards will be made under Article 14. Any award made will comply with the terms of this Article and wider conditions of the Regulation. 


De minimis state aid funding information

CARES funding may be delivered via de minimis funding. The de minimis exemption permits aid of up to €200,000 to an individual recipient (from all sources) in any rolling three-year fiscal period. If you are receiving any other de minimis aid from another source, you must declare this as part of your application in Section 4.

As the applicant, it is your responsibility to ensure that any award that may be provided does not breach the €200,000 ceiling.

The State Aid de minimus ceiling is expressed in Euros. This can be equated to Pounds Sterling by using the rates shown on the EU website here.

Further information on de minimis State Aid for development support is available to download here


Agricultural De Minimis

CARES may award grants under the Agricultural De Minimis Regulation (EU) 1408/2013.

The total amount of de minimis aid granted per Member State to a single undertaking shall not exceed EUR 15 000 over any period of 3 fiscal years.

Successful applicants will need to return a De Minimis declaration. The relevant regulation is the European Commission's De Minimis Regulation (Commission Regulation (EU) 1408/2013 of 18 December 2013 on the application of Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to De Minimis aid, OJ(L) 352/1). The State Aid is expressed in Euros and can be equated to Pounds Sterling by using the rates shown on the EU website here. Awards will be calculated using the exchange rate applicable on the date of granting.