M&S ENERGY LAUNCHES £300,000 FUND FOR COMMUNITY ENERGY PROJECTS
For the third year, M&S Energy is today launching the M&S Energy Community Energy Fund, with up to £300,000 available to support community energy projects and technologies across the UK.
Any not for profit organisation that wants to use renewable energy to provide community benefits can apply, whether a community energy group, sports club, library, amateur dramatic society, village hall or school – the judges are looking for innovative and inspiring projects that support the local community’s needs.
Following the initial application and shortlisting process the winners will be decided by public vote giving customers and community members the opportunity to get involved with the initiative and back their favourite project. Projects that go to the public vote can also seek to raise additional funds through crowdfunding alongside gathering voter support.
Around 80,000 people voted in last year’s competition and 26 projects, including schools, sports clubs and a community pub, were awarded grants and over £28,000 was crowdfunded. The competition highlights the hard work people up and down the country put into improving their local community.
Applications are now open and will close on Friday 23rd June.
Jonathan Hazeldine, Head of M&S Energy said, “Each time we open the M&S Energy Community Energy Fund for new applicants, we are incredibly impressed by the time and commitment so many people give to the community projects that matter to them. Last year’s applicants upped their game with their campaigning and marketing efforts, and we are looking forward to starting the search for this year’s winners. As a 100% green energy provider, this fund is a great way for us to take our commitment further by getting involved with our communities and helping them become more environmentally and financially sustainable.
Dawn Bebe, Director, Energyshare said "Energyshare is delighted to help support the M&S Energy Community Energy Fund campaign for the third year in a row. We hope projects across the UK will once again compete from additional funds and use the opportunity to crowdfund even more funds for their projects to make them happen."
Amongst last year’s winners was The Angler’s Rest, a community pub with a Post Office in the Peak District, that had faced closure but was saved by the local community who raised money through a local share scheme. This enthusiasm paid off again, with the M&S Energy Community Energy Fund judges awarding it £12,500 for solar panels which will help reduce its energy bills. The judges were equally impressed with Toxteth Food Central, a community-led food hub with an affordable food store, cafe, training space and garden. The judges were inspired by how this project has brought the local community together and awarded funding for solar panels to power the eco-friendly. Entering the competition for the second time, Papworth Trust in East Anglia, which offers care to disabled and older people, was also awarded funding, having demonstrated clear progress towards becoming a more sustainable organisation through LED installations and refurbishments using recycled materials.
The M&S Energy Community Energy Fund will be awarded as follows:
- Regional funding awards for projects across Great Britain that require a maximum of £12,000, determined by the public vote
- Judges’ Prizes of at least £20,000 awarded to the most innovative or inspiring projects selected from those that do not win through the public vote
Applications are now open and will close on Friday 23rd June. Applicants will be shortlisted by a panel including M&S, SSE, Energyshare and an independent judge, projects will be considered based upon their social and environmental impact and on meeting a variety of criteria, including:
- Having a clear business case that gives value for money
- An engaged and supportive community
- A measurable community benefit
Full details on how to enter are available at https://www.mandsenergyfund.com/
The public vote will open on Monday 4th September and closes on Friday 20th October.
The winners will be announced in November.
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M&S Corporate Press Office, 0208 718 1919
About M&S Energy
M&S launched M&S Energy in 2008, working with SSE, one of the UK’s leading energy companies. M&S Energy offers customers great value gas and electricity, with simple tariffs and excellent customer service from a brand they already know and trust. Like M&S, SSE champions environmental responsibility and works hard to cut carbon emissions and reduce energy use: SSE continues to be the UK’s leading generator of electricity from renewable sources and the largest generator of electricity from wind across the UK and Ireland.
The electricity consumed by M&S Energy customers is matched by electricity that has the Renewable Electricity Guarantee of Origin (REGO). The annual consumption of electricity used by M&S Energy customers is matched with the equivalent amount of electricity generated from large scale hydro sources input to the National Grid.