Eligibility criteria - RCEF

Who can apply?

The Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF) is available to rural communities in England that:

    • represent a rural community of:
      1. fewer than 10,000 residents; or
      2. more than 10,000 residents but within a local authority area which is classified by the Office of National Statistics as 'predominantly rural'.
    • „„form a legal entity in order to receive public funds
    • „„demonstrate the support of the wider community

and are planning a renewable energy project which:

    • „„will provide a legacy for the future benefit of the community
    • „„use a proven renewable technology

Eligible legal entity

In order to receive funds applicants must have formed a legal entity providing benefit to the community. For the purposes of RCEF we will accept applications from suitable legal entities, for example:

  • Community interest company (CIC)
  • Industrial provident society (IPS) such as co-operatives
  • Parish council
  • Registered social landlord
  • Charity
  • Development trust
  • Faith group

Eligible technologies

Applicants must be planning the installation of a renewable or low carbon energy facility. The facility must utilise a commercially recognised technology. Below is a list of the technologies we will accept for the purposes of RCEF:

  • Hydropower
  • Solar photo voltaic
  • Solar thermal
  • Wind turbines
  • Ground and air source heat pumps
  • Anaerobic digestion, biomass, bio liquids, biogas and bio-CHP
  • Low carbon/renewable heat networks
  • Gas combined heat and power (CHP) units

Scale of projects

The scale of the projects eligible for funding will vary according to technology type. In general terms, projects should:

  • Require planning permission and significant pre-planning development
  • Be of a scale to enable repayment of the pre-planning loan plus premium on financial close
  • Generate energy for multiple buildings (or export the equivalent to the grid). The fund is not designed for single building installations even when those are community buildings

Eligibility of consultants

Communities should select their own consultants and experts. WRAP reserves the right to ensure that proposed suppliers have the appropriate skills and experience to undertake the work. We will look for:

  • A demonstrable track record of experience and/or qualifications in the relevant field
  • Professional indemnity insurance of £1,000,000 or more
  • Value for money
  • A declaration of pecuniary interest