SP Energy Networks launches funding to support communities on journey to net zero
SP Energy Networks has hosted a net zero day at Dumfries and Galloway College which was fronted by the star of BBC Scotland’s Landward and Deacon Blue drummer, Dougie Vipond. Dougie joined local school pupils at the workshop, helping them to imagine a net zero future for their community and educating them on the low carbon technology.
The Transmission Net Zero Fund is calling on eligible applicants to apply for funding. The £5 million fund has been created to support communities and ensure no one is left behind on the country’s journey to net zero emissions. It will support projects that are contributing to decarbonisation efforts within the SP Transmission areas across central and southern Scotland.
The fund aims to not only provide financial support, but to also offer guidance and support to community organisations and charities looking to take the next step on their decarbonisation journey. Successful projects will improve heating systems, electrify transport, and increase energy efficiency within their local area, leaving a lasting, positive legacy and providing long term social, economic, and environmental benefits to the wider community.
To administer the fund, SP Energy Networks has partnered with Energy Saving Trust, which has already delivered tailored workshops to educate communities on low carbon technologies and supported communities to formalise their net zero project plans.
The fund is now open and looking for eligible charities and community organisations based in central and southern Scotland to come forward with their exciting net zero projects. Expressions of interest can be made here.
Scott Mathieson, network planning and regulation director at SP Energy Networks, said: ‘SP Energy Networks is at the heart of Scotland achieving net zero. Our electricity network will provide the essential energy that our communities will need to participate in the transition to net zero and to fully realise the benefits that it will bring.
‘Reaching Net Zero will take a collective effort from us all, and we need to ensure that everyone has the right support in place to achieve their local ambitions.
‘The £5 million Net Zero Fund builds upon what we achieved with our communities through our £20 million Green Economy fund. Our new fund is focused on helping those most vulnerable in our communities accelerate their decarbonisation plans, ensuring that no one is left behind on the journey to net zero.’
The event was hosted at Dumfries and Galloway College in collaboration with SmartSTEM, which is an expert in school STEM engagement. Local school children were given a guided tour of the college’s Green Energy Hub, which boasts multiple renewable and energy efficient technologies, and was officially opened in 2021 thanks to a funding boost from SP Energy Networks’ Green Economy Fund.
Following the tour, Dougie and SmartSTEM tasked the children with designing their own net zero communities from a range of craft materials and upcycled building blocks, which will be reused at future events.
Commenting on the launch, Dougie Vipond, said: ‘We all know about the importance of reaching net zero. To put it simply, it is absolutely essential if we want to protect Scotland’s world renowned landscapes, coastlines and cities and make sure they are here for generations to come.
‘Education really is the key to unlocking our climate goals. We need to teach children about the importance of green technology and how the decisions we make now will impact their future, and their children’s future.
‘There is a huge task ahead of us all and it is vital this transformation happens in a way that is fair and achievable for everyone. I am proud to be launching this phase of net zero funding, which will play an important role in providing support to communities to help ensure a cleaner and greener future for everyone.’
Anthony Kyriakides, head of renewables at Energy Saving Trust, said: ‘It is important to engage with community organisations and charities who play a key part in empowering the people close to them to make positive steps towards net zero. We are pleased to be partnering again with SP Energy Networks’ Net Zero Fund to provide direct support to communities across central and southern Scotland, equipping them with the practical tools, knowledge, and advice they need to turn their vision for net zero into a reality.’
SP Energy Networks owns and operates the electricity transmission and distribution network in central and southern Scotland, delivering power to more than two million homes and businesses. It is at the heart of the UK’s energy transition, investing approximately £7 billion into the electricity infrastructure to facilitate transition to net zero for both customers and communities.
More information about the Net Zero Fund and eligibility criteria is available at: https://www.spenergynetworks.co.uk/pages/the_net_zero_fund_t2.aspx