Grants are now available for community-focused organisations in Edinburgh that wish to:

  • install small-scale solar panels to their premises (strand 1)
  • purchase equipment (strand 2)
  • provide additional activities (strand 2)
  • provide education to reduce carbon (strand 2)
  • make environmental improvements to their buildings (strand 2)


Edinburgh Community Solar Co-operative raises capital from the public to place solar panel installations on City of Edinburgh Council and other community-owned buildings (schools, leisure centres and other council owned buildings). As well as paying annual returns to our investors, we allocate part of our profits to community causes that benefit the people of Edinburgh. This year, we have 2 strands of funding available:

Strand 1: small-scale solar panel installation to their premises

Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels are a clean and green form of electricity generation which can benefit your project and reduce your dependence on electricity from the grid.  A small-scale installation of circa 10 panels might be installed on the roof of your building or mounted on the ground, generating circa 4 kilowatts of energy (depending on the weather and time of the year etc.) Each panel generates around 400 watts and has dimensions of 1.7m x 1.1m.

Total generation from the PV panels could be around 3,000kWh/yr and if your electricity unit cost is around 30p/kWh this would be a saving on your energy costs of some £900/yr.  Carbon savings for your project would be around 650kg of CO2 per year.

Awards in this strand would be £6000 per project, and your organisation would be required to provide an additional £1500 to £2000 towards the costs of installation. Purchase, installation and management of the systems will be the responsibility of successful applicants. Funds will not be released until the applicant can demonstrate that they have the remainder of the funds in place.  

Things to think about which can affect your project – which direction your building points (anywhere between east and west is beneficial); the height of your building, as scaffolding may be required which increases the installation cost; how much electricity could be used by the project i.e. if you are not using the building during the day when it is sunny most of the PV generated electricity is exported and this reduces your savings; planning permission and building warrants may be required which add to the costs; choosing the right installer who should be Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) registered.

Prior to the application deadline, applicants to this strand of funding will need to demonstrate that they have engaged with Business Energy Scotland (or an alternative professional provider) to verify that solar panels are suitable for the site and to ensure that independent advice has been taken. Business Energy Scotland provides a free service. (

Strand 2: Equipment, activities, education and environmental building adaptations

Applicants can apply for a minimum of £1000 and a maximum of £5000. Eligible organisations can apply for the full cost of a project or a smaller contribution to a larger project. The average grant is likely to be in the region of £1500. Funds for larger projects will not be released until the applicant can demonstrate that they have the remainder of the funds in place.

Applications for both strands of funding are now open with a closing date of 9th September 2024.


  1. Schools and Leisure Centres in Edinburgh
  2. Registered charities or community organisations (with a bank account) operating within Edinburgh with a particular focus on:
  3. Children and young people
  4. Older people (55+)
  5. The environment and sustainability
  6. Outdoor education
  7. Sports clubs

An additional eligibility criterion is in place for Strand 1: Applicant organisations need to own their own community building or demonstrate that they have a lease for at least 10 years on their building.

Please note that organisations that received funding from Edinburgh Community Solar Co-Operative within the last 3 years are not eligible to apply for this round of funding.

Purpose of the grant

Strand 1:

  1. Small-scale solar panel installation to reduce carbon and energy costs

Strand 2:

a) Environment/sustainability education

  • Health, well-being and inclusion (for example community gardens, healthy eating programmes, or improved access to facilities for people with additional mobility needs) 
  • Initiatives that address fuel poverty
  • Environmental improvements to buildings used by communities


Successful applicants will be expected to:

  • Provide evidence of spend on the grant as specified in the application (including any variance)
  • Complete a short impact report and a short video (max 3 mins) about their project, which can be used to develop a case study by ECSC for its website, publicity and other communications purposes, including photo images.

Information about the awards we made in 2022 and examples of the videos submitted can be found at

If you would like to apply for a grant, please download our short application form here

The closing date for applications is 9th September 2024. Decisions will be made in October 2024.

Enquiries and completed application forms should be sent to: