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£8m community energy supply boost

The Government has said it will invest £8 million in community energy projects.

Applications for funding can be made now under the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) scheme, which will support projects focusing on renewable heating technologies such as solar heating systems, heat pumps, biomass boilers and heating networks.

The deadline for applications is September 7, with the DECC suggesting it expects between 50 and 100 projects to ultimately benefit from the initiative.

Officials will decide whether or not to grant funding based on a range of criteria, including "the project's vision, potential benefits for the local area, potential partners and any relevant experience of delivering similar projects".

Energy and climate change minister Greg Barker indicated that community cooperatives, voluntary groups, social enterprises and development trusts of "all shapes and sizes" are encouraged to get involved in the new scheme.

The move comes as consumers and businesses are increasingly looking for more efficient and cheaper heating options.

Copyright Press Association 2012

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