Let’s do net zero community buildings: CARES funding available

solar panels on a community building

The latest round of funding from the Scottish Government’s Community and Renewables Energy Scheme (CARES) is now open.

Grant funding, advice and support is available to community organisations, charitable organisations and faith groups that want to decarbonise their community buildings by installing low carbon or renewable energy systems, such as heat pumps or solar panels.

Funding is available for many types of community buildings, including:

  • community cafes
  • community hubs
  • faith buildings
  • public halls
  • community halls and centres.

Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport Michael Matheson said:

“Local and community energy projects don’t just help communities reduce emissions – they also create jobs, training opportunities and investment in local economies. That makes them an important part of Scotland’s just transition to net zero. By making a further £750,000 available to support these projects, the Scottish Government will make sure communities continue to play an active role at the forefront of Scotland’s transition to a green economy.”

CARES has already supported many communities throughout Scotland to successfully install low carbon and renewable technologies in their community buildings.

  • Inverness Masjid installed solar panels at its mosque, and with further assistance from CARES, installed battery storage too.
  • Aboyne and Mid-Deeside Community Shed installed four air source heat pumps to provide space heating at its community shed.
  • Loch Ness Hub installed an air source heat pump and solar panels to decarbonise the building’s heat and energy supply.

Through a combination of grants and loans, CARES can fund up to 100% of the eligible project costs. Funding operates on a first come basis, and early applications are encouraged.

Expressions of interest should be submitted in the first instance. The funding call will close to new applications on Thursday 30 September 2021, or earlier should the funding call budget be reached.

Find out more about CARES funding and how to apply.


Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport Michael Matheson - “Local and community energy projects don’t just help communities reduce emissions – they also create jobs, training opportunities and investment in local economies. That makes them an important part of Scotland’s just transition to net zero."