Fighting fuel poverty: Energy efficiency training for local communities added to Community Benefit Programme

  • Posted: 12 Jul 2023

Round seven of the scheme, which provides energy efficiency grants to community buildings close to our sites, is open to applicants!

To help protect people against the ongoing energy and cost of living crises, we’re making energy essentials training available to the local communities that apply for the latest round of our Community Benefit Programme, which will be delivered by national energy charity, Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE). Topics covered will include fuel poverty awareness and basic energy advice, community approaches to tackling fuel poverty and energy efficiency in community buildings. 

This will be offered alongside energy efficiency grants of up to £4,500 so that important shared buildings, including village halls, community centres and church halls, can make improvements such as insulation, draught-proofing, LED lighting or improved heating controls ahead of winter.  

Launched today, applicants will be asked to complete a full energy survey of the shared building using guidance supplied by the charity. This will help to identify potential improvements, including zero-cost measures, and calculate carbon and cost savings for different options. Applications will remain open until 21st September 2023. 

For more info and to apply 


“Across the UK, we’re seeing many community buildings struggling or having to reduce their services as a result of soaring energy bills. At the same time, more and more people are looking to them as a warm, welcoming space that they can rely on during challenging times. Through our community benefit programme, we hope to help these important social hubs so that they can continue offering support to those who may be struggling this winter, with our training programme also helping to develop long lasting energy efficiency knowledge and skills to help people reduce domestic energy bills.” - Adrian Warman, Head of Operations, Thrive Renewables

“We are excited to run the 7th round of the Thrive Renewable Community Benefit Programme. Community buildings serve as vital spaces for people to gather, take part in social activities and often, access support. In recent years, they have come under threat from rising energy costs. We are so pleased to be able to support them with longer term energy resilience through the community benefit programme and help them to provide warm and comfortable spaces for the communities they serve. This year, we’ll be able to take that support even further with our additional energy essentials training, allowing us to further upskill communities to combat fuel poverty at a local level.” - Tess Rushton, Senior Project Worker, Centre for Sustainable Energy

Now in the seventh round of funding, our Community Benefit Programme has awarded 51 grants to 43 buildings since 2016, totalling over £150,000 nationally and saving 75 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year. 

In 2022, this included funding for Easton Community Centre, part of the Eastside Community Trust, which was used to install loft and pipe installation that would help reduce the building’s energy bills and allow its team to continue providing community advice and acting as a base for a number of local charities and grassroot groups. Read more in our case study here.