Empowering Communities

Shaping the future

We help our members’ communities participate in and promote understanding of the equitable benefits of the energy system, by supporting project development through capacity building and technical advice.

Project Management

Your Voice

Networking & Learning

What we do

Community Energy Scotland is a member-led, independent organisation providing practical & technical support for community project development. We work in partnership with community groups and others who share our values, building their understanding and capacity to create more democratic, sustainable and low carbon solutions.

By enabling our members to link up and network with each other, we also create insightful opportunities within the community energy sector. And as the collective voice of community groups looking to develop and maintain low carbon solutions, we represent our members at government and regulatory levels.

Our 3 key services

Services

Start to finish members’ independent practical and technical support, and project management, focusing on equitable social returns on investment in community low carbon projects. Our unique engagement approach ensures everyone in your community can participate during the projects’ development. From energy generation at scale to transport solutions to local energy plans, we can support your organisation or community-led business to realise its low carbon ambitions and increase community resilience.

Whole Project Management

Whether your project is about transport, storage and renewable heat and power assets, we work with you to plan development from the beginning and we remain on-hand to support you in the post-project stages. From exploratory discussions and feasibility studies, to project costing and financial planning, through to delivery and installation, risk assessments and contract negotiation, we guide you along the path to achieving your low carbon aims.

Community Engagement

Our team's wealth of engagement experience will help your organisation work closely with your community to ensure the most inclusive feedback and benefit reach. Our skillset for diplomacy and facilitating community events, gathering and mapping thoughts, ideas and concerns, allows you to choose the level of support you need. The CES team is committed to fully engage with your community in our friendly and inclusive style.

External Stakeholders

Our expertise and reputation place us in an ideal position for communicating and negotiating with official agencies and regulators, for example, council planning, private land owners, outside consultants, insurers, funders, SEPA, electricity network operators. We can offer tendering services, contractor management, and full support is also available to help you with your applications and reporting to funders.

Technical Experts

The CES team includes specialist engineers, experts in renewables, experienced researchers, and data & digital technology professionals. We bring with us a wealth of knowledge and experience from replicable innovative projects all over Scotland. Our fully up to date understanding of statutory compliance for the energy sector means we can advise you on regulatory requirements, including those for energy, health & safety, planning and environmental. We can also help source equipment, and work with you to create energy smart systems, and management and maintenance plans.

Community Energy Scotland is the national independent voice on community energy in Scotland, ensuring representation and advocacy for our members and their needs. We engage and influence the wider energy system using our access to the formal avenues of government and industry to stand up for our members. By influencing official policy and other decision makers, we help shape the national narrative and increase recognition of communities’ role in decarbonisation.

Collecting Your Evidence

By continuously building a robust evidence base, we can demonstrate to government and regulators the need for increased community energy support. We collect evidence in a number of ways, including pulling together information shared at events and by gathering critical annual data from our members to produce formal State of the Sector public reports.

Member-led Events

By engaging with members through working groups, we keep up to date with your priorities and maximise opportunities to feed in your experiences to our policy work. Whether it's our members' annual conference, hosting a themed forum or other focused in-person or hybrid event, we link like-minded members to work together towards achieving their goals.

Collaborating with Others

Our strong working relationships with other enabling agencies means we can combine our voices to represent our members on a wider scale. We regularly partner with Community Energy England, Comunity Energy Wales, the Scottish Community Alliance, Community Land Scotland and Development Trusts Association Scotland. By joining forces we co-produce official papers and reports to support the evidence from our sector. We also form potent coalitions with organisations who share our values to strengthen the community energy message.

Direct Contact with Government and Regulators

We are the direct link between our members, and government and regulatory decision-makers, with whom we continuously build our critical relationships. By working with our membership on government and industry consultations, we collate and feed back official responses that directly relate to the community energy sector. Building and maintaining our relationships with MPs and MSPs is also vital to CES' policy work.

Our values for community capacity building mean we provide networking services for members to connect with each other and link up with our partner organisations. Our Resources webpage contains insights and links to the information most asked about on the path to community energy. CES enables and facilitates collaboration, offers learning and enables peer knowledge exchange opportunities – either in person or online. Go to our Membership page to see about joining us free!

Conference and Events

The annual CES members' conference and our other online and in-person events create valuable spaces for members to come together to share expertise and link with others in the energy sector. We listen to our members about ways to connect and learn, and we aspire to host the spaces and topics as guided by you.

Enabling Members' Networks

By creating shared spaces for our members, both in-person and virtual, CES provides critical networking opportunities for relationship and capacity building. We facilitate member-led themed forums, and the CES members' private Facebook page is a discussion area for community members. We work with a number of other stakeholders to maximise the quality of our networking services for maximum benefit to our members.

Creating Peer to Peer Opportunities

Providing opportunities to learn first-hand from lived experience, we enable peer learning for the chance to see and discuss things from diverse perspectives. By gaining wider understanding from peers, potential solutions can unfold and tactical changes can be made in the effort to overcome challenges. From arranging external sponsorship for bursaries to enabling funded peer visits, these invaluable opportunities take place in person as well as member-led webinars and workshops.

Communications

We keep members up to date with important information, project updates and calls to action with our regular Members' Bulletin and focused emails. We also keep members in touch via the CES members' private Facebook page and our public social media platforms. Our website is updated regularly with news and other information, and contains e-contact forms for targeted enquiries and contact information for the CES team.

Project Mangement

Start to finish members’ independent practical and technical support, and project management, focusing on equitable social returns on investment in community low carbon projects. Our unique engagement approach ensures everyone in your community can participate during the projects’ development. From energy generation at scale to transport solutions to local energy plans, we can support your organisation or community-led business to realise its low carbon ambitions and increase community resilience.

Whole Project Management

Whether your project is about transport, storage and renewable heat and power assets, we work with you to plan development from the beginning and we remain on-hand to support you in the post-project stages. From exploratory discussions and feasibility studies, to project costing and financial planning, through to delivery and installation, risk assessments and contract negotiation, we guide you along the path to achieving your low carbon aims.

Community Engagement

Our team's wealth of engagement experience will help your organisation work closely with your community to ensure the most inclusive feedback and benefit reach. Our skillset for diplomacy and facilitating community events, gathering and mapping thoughts, ideas and concerns, allows you to choose the level of support you need. The CES team is committed to fully engage with your community in our friendly and inclusive style.

External Stakeholders

Our expertise and reputation place us in an ideal position for communicating and negotiating with official agencies and regulators, for example, council planning, private land owners, outside consultants, insurers, funders, SEPA, electricity network operators. We can offer tendering services, contractor management, and full support is also available to help you with your applications and reporting to funders.

Technical Experts

The CES team includes specialist engineers, experts in renewables, experienced researchers, and data & digital technology professionals. We bring with us a wealth of knowledge and experience from replicable innovative projects all over Scotland. Our fully up to date understanding of statutory compliance for the energy sector means we can advise you on regulatory requirements, including those for energy, health & safety, planning and environmental. We can also help source equipment, and work with you to create energy smart systems, and management and maintenance plans.

Your Voice

Community Energy Scotland is the national independent voice on community energy in Scotland, ensuring representation and advocacy for our members and their needs. We engage and influence the wider energy system using our access to the formal avenues of government and industry to stand up for our members. By influencing official policy and other decision makers, we help shape the national narrative and increase recognition of communities’ role in decarbonisation.

Collecting Your Evidence

By continuously building a robust evidence base, we can demonstrate to government and regulators the need for increased community energy support. We collect evidence in a number of ways, including pulling together information shared at events and by gathering critical annual data from our members to produce formal State of the Sector public reports.

Member-led Events

By engaging with members through working groups, we keep up to date with your priorities and maximise opportunities to feed in your experiences to our policy work. Whether it's our members' annual conference, hosting a themed forum or other focused in-person or hybrid event, we link like-minded members to work together towards achieving their goals.

Collaborating with Others

Our strong working relationships with other enabling agencies means we can combine our voices to represent our members on a wider scale. We regularly partner with Community Energy England, Comunity Energy Wales, the Scottish Community Alliance, Community Land Scotland and Development Trusts Association Scotland. By joining forces we co-produce official papers and reports to support the evidence from our sector. We also form potent coalitions with organisations who share our values to strengthen the community energy message.

Direct Contact with Government and Regulators

We are the direct link between our members, and government and regulatory decision-makers, with whom we continuously build our critical relationships. By working with our membership on government and industry consultations, we collate and feed back official responses that directly relate to the community energy sector. Building and maintaining our relationships with MPs and MSPs is also vital to CES' policy work.

Networking and Insights

Our values for community capacity building mean we provide networking services for members to connect with each other and link up with our partner organisations. Our Resources webpage contains insights and links to the information most asked about on the path to community energy. CES enables and facilitates collaboration, offers learning and enables peer knowledge exchange opportunities – either in person or online. Go to our Membership page to see about joining us free!

Conference and Events

The annual CES members' conference and our other online and in-person events create valuable spaces for members to come together to share expertise and link with others in the energy sector. We listen to our members about ways to connect and learn, and we aspire to host the spaces and topics as guided by you.

Enabling Members' Networks

By creating shared spaces for our members, both in-person and virtual, CES provides critical networking opportunities for relationship and capacity building. We facilitate member-led themed forums, and the CES members' private Facebook page is a discussion area for community members. We work with a number of other stakeholders to maximise the quality of our networking services for maximum benefit to our members.

Creating Peer to Peer Opportunities

Providing opportunities to learn first-hand from lived experience, we enable peer learning for the chance to see and discuss things from diverse perspectives. By gaining wider understanding from peers, potential solutions can unfold and tactical changes can be made in the effort to overcome challenges. From arranging external sponsorship for bursaries to enabling funded peer visits, these invaluable opportunities take place in person as well as member-led webinars and workshops.

Communications

We keep members up to date with important information, project updates and calls to action with our regular Members' Bulletin and focused emails. We also keep members in touch via the CES members' private Facebook page and our public social media platforms. Our website is updated regularly with news and other information, and contains e-contact forms for targeted enquiries and contact information for the CES team.

Testimonials

Since taking up the role of Development Manager at the Kirkconnel Parish Heritage Society, I have found the N76 team, in particular Rosie, to be approachable and knowledgeable. The contacts I have made have helped the Society to further their commitment to affordable and accessible transport. With the help and advice of others within the N76, we are on our way to securing funding for a new minibus which will be more accessible for those with reduced mobility. This has only been possible with the support of the N76 group as I wasn’t sure how to secure the funding or indeed, just how important community transport is to rural areas.

Kirkconnell Parish Heritage Society

Kirkconnell Parish Heritage Society
Kym Clements, Kirkconnell Parish Heritage Society, Dumfries & Galloway

Without CES support, our project would not have gone ahead. CES’ development officer role was vital in steering our ideas and driving them through to reality. His professional approach and knowledge was impressive, as was his wider appreciation of pressures on community groups and the pressures we were under at a very basic level of running a charitable organisation. I don't think we would have managed without CES’ direct support.

Hilton Light House

Hilton Light House
Stuart MacQuarrie, Hilton Light House

Community Energy Scotland were very helpful in assisting us to understand our new energy bills and meters, and supported us in looking at pricing. It’s well worth being a member!

Kildonan Museum
Ronnie Mackinnon, Kildonan Museum

Having the support of Community Energy Scotland has has been a massive help in delivering projects here on Raasay as part of the CNI project. Particularly helpful has been having access to their knowledge base and project support.

Raasay Development Trust

Raasay Development Trust
Tom Lusink, Raasay Development Trust

In the early 2000’s the thought of a community group installing a large wind turbine seemed extremely ambitious. Eight years later, we had our first 900kW turbine generating clean green energy and providing us with an income. We only achieved it with the constant help and advice of Community Energy Scotland. Their staff understood renewable energy and also, importantly, understood communities. It was the best development support any community could get. Another two turbines followed in just over a year and ensured that our community owned estate had a core income for the years ahead. CES local staff were always at our side through the journey and always able to call on skilled colleagues for specialist knowledge. The team worked very well together. Without them we would not have overcome the many challenges. CES gave us the confidence and knowledge to continue and complete our turbine development – the income from renewable energy that followed, gave us the confidence and means to support our community. and they still are supporting us

Galson Trust, Isle of Lewis

Galson Trust, Isle of Lewis
Carola Bell, Galson Trust, Isle of Lewis

As an organisation we are very grateful to Community Energy Scotland for their invaluable assistance with our project.

Eckford Village Hall Trust, Scottish Borders

Eckford Village Hall Trust, Scottish Borders
Sheila Campbell, Eckford Village Hall Trust, Scottish Borders

We couldn't have developed our 9 MW wind farm without the help of CES and 8 years later it remains indispensable to us for advice and support on everything to do with community energy.

Point and Sandwick, Isle of Lewis

Point and Sandwick, Isle of Lewis
Calum MacDonald, Point and Sandwick, Isle of Lewis

Community Energy Scotland has offered comprehensive support throughout our CNI Project journey. CES’s knowledge and previous experience in project development have assisted us in taking forward a range of initiatives that are benefiting the community of Barra & Vatersay. We are thankful for their assistance and recommend membership to other community groups!

Voluntary Action Barra & Vatersay

Voluntary Action Barra & Vatersay
Rosie MacLeod, Voluntary Action Barra & Vatersay

Community Energy Scotland has provided valuable support, knowledge and encouragement to our community group from the start to the finish of our renewable energy project.

Drummuir & Botriphnie Community Trust, Moray

Drummuir & Botriphnie Community Trust, Moray
Dianne Mark, Drummuir & Botriphnie Community Trust, Moray

For NVLT the N76 partnership has been invaluable for our recent work on active travel. We have been able to benefit from the experience and knowledge of both neighbouring N76 partners and projects furthers afield to help us progress. The KPT Development Trust’s active travel path and e-bike hire scheme has been especially helpful.
By networking with N76 partners at regular meetings and offline conversations, as well as support from the N76 development officer with funding applications, we’ve been able to purchase e-cargo bikes and e-bikes during year 2 and will set up a hire scheme this year. We have also been able to keep ahead of changes to active travel initiatives and have through discussions with Dumfries and Galloway Council and Swestrans progressed our proposed active travel path from Closeburn to Thornhill and start the development of a bike library and repair facility as part of encouraging more walking and cycling in Closeburn.

Nith Valley Leaf Trust, Dumfries & Galloway

Nith Valley Leaf Trust, Dumfries & Galloway
Mike Steele, Nith Valley Leaf Trust, Dumfries & Galloway

All of us at Clan Macquarrie Community Centre have cause to be very grateful to Community Energy Scotland – and to their local team in Stornoway in particular…thanks to their regular and excellent advice and guidance since 2009, we have managed to achieve a strong level of energy efficiency combined with annual income generation from renewables…CES guided us to the Climate Challenge Fund and helped us structure our successful application…We have no hesitation in recommending community organisations make contact with CES should they be considering an energy project.

Clan Macquarrie Community Centre, Isle of Lewis

Clan Macquarrie Community Centre, Isle of Lewis
Donald MacDonald, Clan Macquarrie Community Centre, Isle of Lewis

As a charity, we were extremely grateful for the support, guidance and help given to us by Community Energy Scotland.

Vale of Leven Baptist Church

Vale of Leven Baptist Church
Bill McDiarmid, Vale of Leven Baptist Church

State of the Sector

Community Energy State of the Sector overview- supporting the voice of community energy in Scotland and the UK

At a Glance

Community Group Members
435
Community Projects Supported
799
Community & Locally Owned Energy Capacity
713 MW (Scotland)
The Fishermen Three Co-owned Windfarm Generation
105,778 MWh
The Fishermen Three Carbon Savings
26,970 tonnes

Members' Map

Our members’ map is in progress and will be available to use soon.

Free membership to our network!

Discover opportunities to help support your community energy and decarbonisation plans. Receive regular updates on our work with members in our Member Bulletins and stay in touch with the wider community energy network through our interconnections.