Energy Efficiency Sharematch

Application Guidance and Eligibility Criteria

Version dated: April 2024


Energy Efficiency Sharematch will support Co-operative Societies, Community Benefit Societies and Charitable Community Benefit Societies based in England to raise investment to undertake activity which reduces their energy usage or identifies alternative sources of energy and therefore leads to a reduction of both carbon footprint and energy bills of the organisation’s operation.

These activities could include but are not limited to:

- Installation of new on-site energy/heating generation measures (eg solar panels, heat pumps)
- Installation of new energy efficiency measures in a building (eg insulation, LED lighting, double glazing, draft-proofing, improved doors)
- Improvements to other aspects of operations (e.g. changes to more energy efficient equipment, transport upgrade).

Energy Efficiency Sharematch is a £250,000 fund administered by Crowdfunder, working with Co-operatives UK and funded by Access – The Foundation for Social Investment using funds from the Dormant Assets Scheme, which redirects money from forgotten accounts to good causes. 

The Fund will run until March 2025, with the ambition to award all funds before this time. 

Eligible organisations

To be eligible to apply, organisations must be one of the following:

- Community Benefit Society
- Charitable Community Benefit Society
- Co-operative Society

Eligible organisations must:

- Be based and operating in England.
- Own their buildings or have long (>10 years) tenancies in place. The tenancy should also be as long or longer than the payback period for the share capital.
- Be seeking investment for energy efficiency measures and use the Crowdfunder platform

Organisations can only access funding from the Energy Efficiency Sharematch once. Any applications from organisations that have already received funding from the Energy Efficiency Sharematch funding will be declined.

Eligible community shares projects

The funding for this programme can only be to implement energy efficiency measures in buildings owned by eligible organisations. To receive match funding eligible organisations must run a community share issue through the Crowdfunder platform. You can read more about community shares in the Community Shares Handbook published by Co-operatives UK.

If you are running a share offer for a wider range of investments, we can consider you for a grant. We will seek to identify which parts of the investment raise are for energy efficiency measures. I.e. if you are seeking to raise £500k for improvements to a community building, and £150k of this was for energy efficiency measures we would look to match fund the £150k part of the overall raise. 

How to apply

Applicants should initially complete the Expression of Interest form. We will review these and get back to eligible projects with an invitation to apply through the Crowdfunder platform.

Crowdfunder project set up

In order to be eligible to apply, projects must set up on Crowdfunder. 

Applications will be reviewed alongside project pages. Please consult our guide to learn how to create a strong project page.

How much can you apply for?

Energy Efficiency Sharematch will provide grant funding to match money raised in community shares. Our grant funding is intended to accelerate the speed and amount you can raise from your community.

We expect most grants to be awarded in the range of £10,000-15,000, with the minimum grant being £5,000 and the default maximum being £30,000.

For organisations in IMD 1-3 areas, and/or led by under-represented groups a maximum grant of £50,000 will be available for those demonstrating exceptional circumstances. The programme will limit the number of organisations receiving a £50,000 grant to two.

We would ordinarily expect to match money raised through the Crowdfunder platform in community shares investments on the basis of 25-33% match of the total raised, up to the maximum grant amounts above. 

How does this impact your investment targets?

We will look at your minimum investment target to proceed and make a proportionate grant offer. This would be shown as part of the overall raise on the Crowdfunder totaliser, even though it is a grant rather than community shares. So in effect, you would have reduced your minimum investment raise in community shares by the value of the grant. 

For example, if you are seeking funding of £75,000 and you are awarded a £20,000 grant from the Energy Efficiency Share Match Fund, then you will need to raise £55,000 in community share investment to receive the £20,000 grant.

The award of grant money, and its inclusion in your total, should help to build momentum towards you reaching your overall investment goals. 

Selection process

All projects that meet the criteria set out above will be assessed to determine which projects will be selected for the fund. Project owners will be notified whether their application has been successful or not. 

Applications will be assessed based on the following criteria:

1. The organisation - We will look at IMD statistics based on local postcodes and look at your areas of activity and impact, such as individuals and communities supported.

2. Need for energy efficiency measures – why the measures are needed, such as the nature and age of the building, activities being delivered and associated energy costs.

3. Activity being funded – the energy efficiency measures to be installed, the timescale and supporting evidence available - including energy efficiency advice or audit.

4. Expected savings- the expected cost and carbon savings to be achieved following installation of the measures.

5. Readiness - in preparing the community share offer documentation and outreach plans. We expect all share offers to launch before January 2025.

6. Subsidy Control- all grant awards will be required to comply with the Subsidy Control (2023) regime, information will be gathered to check compliance with this.

7. Due Diligence - we will also carry out due diligence on each application.

The offer of match funding will be valid for [4] weeks after the date of notification, if you need longer than this to get your share offer ready please contact us.

Receipt of Match Funding

If you are approved for funding, we will confirm to you the amount of match funding you have been awarded, and agree how this will be applied to your campaign to help you reach your target. The match funding may be applied as a lump sum, or may be used to match individual investments.

We will expect a minimum of 25 unique investors to receive the match funding. To verify whether supporters are unique we will take account of information including, but not limited to: name, address, email addresses and payment card used. We will not recognise investments from organisations into their own projects. 

You will need to raise a specified amount from community investment (which will be communicated to you) in order to draw down the match funding grant. You will also need to reach your share offer minimum. 

If you receive offline investments, these can be counted towards the match targets as long as they are added to the Crowdfuder platform, you will be required to evidence the origin of these pledges (receipts, letters of support, copies of cheques or bank statements, etc.).

Being approved for match funding does not guarantee you will receive any funding. 

Additional Requirements

Projects will be required to agree to the Terms and Conditions.