Green light to funding problem?

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Coalition Government proposals to allow community groups to access funding for renewable energy projects could be the answer to problems being faced by residents across north Cornwall, according to local MP Dan Rogerson.

Current rules mean that organisations such as village halls and other community groups cannot receive two sets funding classed as public money for the same project.

This has caused problems when the likes of solar panels have been installed using lottery funding, as groups cannot then receive the subsidies for generating electricity using the panels.

Villagers in Tregadillett had installed solar panels on the community hall’s roof in order to raise money for the hall. Despite being told that they would receive government subsidies for the electricity the solar panels produce, after the panels were installed the Department for Energy and Climate Change said that the hall would not be eligible for the money.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey has agreed to look again at the rules following a campaign by North Cornwall MP Dan Rogerson.

Commenting on the news, Rogerson said: “After raising this anomaly with energy ministers for several months, I am pleased that the Government are now looking at changing these rules.

“It is important that community and not-for-profit groups don’t miss out on important funding from the likes of solar panels just because they have already received lottery funding or a similar grant.

“The Department for Energy and Climate Change are running a public consultation about the plans until July 7, and I am urging anyone in a similar situation to respond to that consultation to make sure that energy ministers know how helpful these changes would be.”

Any group that has been affected by these rules can respond to the consultation online by clicking here.