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Improving the energy efficiency of community buildings

This will mean a lower carbon footprint and reduced energy bills.

This can be achieved by measures ranging from low cost simple changes to large scale building work.

Step 1

An energy audit assesses the current energy use and efficiency of a building. This will help identify the most effective options for energy saving.

  1. Self-assessment energy surveys – using guidance and a checklist This can be done by a walk around of the building noting how different spaces are used and heated, lit, insulated and ventilated.
  2. Expert energy audits – professional advice about the energy use of your community building. Expert assessments can offer clear, costed plans and support funding applications. Energy Solutions Oxfordshire offer energy audits to organisations across Oxfordshire.

Step 2

Armed with your energy audit you can then plan to reduce energy use, improve energy efficiency and consider renewable energy.

Options for making improvements to your community building

  1. Behaviour changes – using less energy eg lights are off when building not in use
  2. Physical improvements to reduce energy waste e.g. repairs, insulation, efficient heating
  3. Renewable technologies air source heat pumps, solar panels

Consult local residents and users of the building to help with the design the changes to give the best experience for users and to make sure that users know how to use the building most efficiently. Talking to residents will also help to raise awareness of energy options in the wider community, as the building can be used as an example of what users could do in their own homes. 

Step 3

Funding for improvements – see option below

Our Climate Action Fund offers grants of between £250 and £5,000 to projects across the Vale which support communities to take action on climate change. Energy efficiency improvements to community buildings are eligible for the grant, where they are combined with activities to engage and inspire the local community to protect our planet.

Who is eligible? Non-profit community organisations and town and parish councils.

To apply: Visit Climate Action Fund


The Rural Community Buildings Loan Fund provides loans of up to £20,000 to village hall management committees to improve facilities for their communities.

Awarding organisation: DEFRA, administered by ACRE

Who is eligible? Community groups

To apply: Visit The Rural Community Buildings Loan Fund


People’s Postcode Lottery Grant – Community groups can apply for a grant to fund energy efficiency measures, under the theme of improving biodiversity and responding to the climate emergency.

Awarding organisation: People’s Postcode Lottery

Who is eligible? Not-for-profit organisations. Please note town and parish council cannot apply for this grant.

To apply: Visit People’s Postcode Lottery Grant


VCSE Energy Efficiency Scheme offers support to voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations in England to improve their energy efficiency. The scheme has two stages:

  1. Independent energy assessment – the scheme will cover the cost for delivery of an independent energy assessment which will identify measures to reduce energy bills.
  2. Capital funding for energy saving measures – based on the independent energy assessment, the scheme can support the cost of installing the recommended energy efficiency measures in the applicant’s premises.

Awarding organisation: Groundwork UK

Who is eligible? Organisations can use the eligibility checker to see if they are able to apply. Please note town and parish council cannot apply for this grant.

Contact us - Climate and biodiversity team

Vale of White Horse District Council
Abbey House
Abbey Close
OX14 3JE