Community benefits

Community benefit payments can be a valuable source of income for communities located near to renewable energy developments.

The Scottish Government sets the expectation in the Scottish Energy Strategy that developers should continue to offer meaningful community benefits in line with the Good Practice Principles. 

In the Good Practice Principles the Scottish Government recommends a community benefit package for onshore wind developments with a value to the equivalent of at least £5,000 per installed megawatt per annum, index-linked for the operational lifetime of the project and suggests that other onshore technologies should aspire to this level.

Benefiting from renewable energy projects

It can be challenging for communities to secure, set up and manage funds or other benefits from renewable energy schemes - be these commercially owned, shared ownership or wholly-owned by the community. 

The process can involve working with developers to reach agreement or deciding how an annual fund can be structured to ensure the maximum impact for your community. 

Local Energy Scotland provides advice and support to help make the process more manageable and effective for all. We offer: 

  • an enablement grant to help community groups identify the needs and aspirations of their community, or support the securing and setting up community funds from renewables;
  • initial advice from our Development Officers for groups to help them identify and explore issues around community funds;
  • Case studies to help pass on lessons learnt from previous projects;
  • a community fund toolkit is in development to help guide groups through the process; 
  • help to draw up your community benefit fund agreement, including a downloadable template.


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