Energy efficiency funding offered to community buildings by renewables investment firm

August 27, 2021

Bristol-based renewable energy investment company Thrive is offering grants to community groups to help them make their buildings energy efficient.

As part of its national £30,000 Community Benefit Programme, which Thrive launched in 2015, buildings such as village halls and community centres can use up to £4,000 to cover energy saving measures including insulation, draught proofing, improved heating or lighting controls and LED lighting. 

The buildings must be within a 30-mile radius of Thrive’s four-turbine site at Avonmouth, which last year generated 20,577MWh in renewable electricity.

Communities can also access free expert advice on zero-cost solutions as part of the scheme.

The support comes after the UK government set in law the world’s most ambitious climate change target in April, with an aim to cut emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990 levels.

Now in its fifth funding round, Thrive’s Community Benefit Programme was initially created to fill a funding gap between domestic and commercial properties.

So far it has awarded 31 grants totalling £90,000 to 23 buildings, saving 60 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.

The programme was repurposed last year due to Covid-19 to help meet the urgent needs of communities living close to its projects. 

More than £39,000 was donated across the country to organisations fighting poverty, loneliness and supporting education, including Bristol North West Foodbank, part of The Trussell Trust.

Thrive Renewables managing director Matthew Clayton, pictured, said: “The types of buildings this programme covers – such as village halls – are fundamental to their communities.

“It’s really important to us that we support the people and groups that host our sites, allowing them to make improvements to important social hubs, many of which are cold, draughty and expensive to run.

“We believe that these funds can really make a difference not only to the energy efficiency and sustainability of the spaces, but in encouraging people to continue using them for years to come, so we urge anyone running a shared building close to our Avonmouth site to check their eligibility and apply.”

Applications are open until September 19 and will be administered by Bristol-based national energy charity Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE). 

Applicants must complete a full energy survey of the shared building using guidance supplied by CSE, which will help identify potential improvements, including zero-cost measures, and calculate carbon and cost savings for different options.

More information can be found at:

Thrive was one of the UK’s first mission-driven businesses when it founded 26 years ago in Bristol by ethical bank Triodos.

Formerly known as Triodos Renewables, it has been fully independent of Triodos since 2016, although it is based at Triodos’ Bristol city centre HQ and the bank retains a major shareholding.

It has 16 operational renewable projects, plus further renewable energy and storage projects in development. With assets under management of £94m its portfolio of wind and hydro projects generated nearly 150,000MWh of electricity in 2020.

Comments are closed.


Reach tens of thousands of senior business people across Bristol for just £120 a month. Email for more information.