Community groups across Britain will be able to install low carbon heating technology for free thanks to an £8m Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme.

Applications are now open for not-for-profit groups such as co-operatives, voluntary groups, social enterprises and development trusts to bid for technologies such as solar thermal panels, biomass boilers and heat pumps to be installed into homes in their local area.

The Department for Energy and Climate Change expects to fund between 50 and 100 projects with the £8m. Secretary of state for energy and climate change Greg Barker said: “Clean green generation at a local level is a key part of our energy future and I hope that communities of all shapes and sizes will get on board and take advantage of all this scheme has to offer.”

The competition is open to groups based in England, Scotland and Wales and applicants must submit the first part of their application by 7th September this year. Groups will be assessed on criteria such as project vision, benefits for the local area, potential partners and previous experience.

The scheme is being delivered by independent organisaton Energy Saving Trust. CEO Phillip Sellwood said: “This scheme will provide a great opportunity for community groups to prove once again that they can have a real impact in reducing carbon emissions and energy costs in their homes, whilst empowering communities to be more sustainable.”

For further information visit the Energy Savings Trust website.