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Enabling community net zero ambitions to tackle climate change

29/09/2023

As an electricity network operator, we play a key role in enabling transition to a cleaner, greener future. We are investing approximately £7 billion into the electricity network to prepare for the upcoming increase in demand for electricity as our communities embark on their decarbonisation journey.

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In Scotland, travel and heating are the two biggest contributors to emissions. So, making changes to the way we travel and heat our homes could make a big difference to climate change.

Net Zero means we need to decarbonise buildings, electrify transport and rethink how we power and heat our homes. To ensure our communities can achieve their local targets, this fund will enable them to deliver projects that will drive decarbonisation in their area. The fund will support projects that deliver social, environmental and economic benefits within local communities to deliver a just transition for all.

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Our communities are at the heart of everything we do, so, we have established our Transmission Net Zero Fund to ensure no one is left behind on the Scotland’s journey to Net Zero.

We recognise that funding green projects is critical to enable local net zero ambitions, but some communities need additional support to develop those project plans. This is why our fund helps local communities develop their net zero ideas and projects through the Net Zero Workshops and Project Planning and Feasibility Support.

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The first general net zero workshop was delivered in January 2023 with the aim to demystify Net Zero for community representatives. This workshop introduced over 70 people to net zero options that they can consider when decarbonising their homes and communities.

We have also delivered 16 tailored community workshops since November 2022. Over 130 community representatives have attended these workshops which explored local challenges and routes to net zero.

Our Project Planning and Feasibility Support offered further support to those who needed more guidance in formalising their plans. The expert support that was provided to eligible communities enabled them to firm up their ideas and collate formal project plans to get their projects ready for delivery.

To address gaps in funding and ensure that communities can access much-needed funding, we opened our funding support in June 2023, targeting net zero community projects which wouldn’t be able to go ahead without access to a fund like this one.

To mark the launch of funding and raise awareness of net zero opportunities, we got schools involved. We hosted a Net Zero Day at Dumfries and Galloway college to bring school pupils' vision for net zero to life. The event was fronted by the star of BBC Scotland's Landward, Dougie Vipond, and delivered in collaboration with SmartSTEMs, who are experts in school STEM engagement. Local school pupils were introduced to net zero through a tour of low carbon technologies and workshops designed to help them imagine a net zero future for their communities.

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For more information about the fund, visit spenergynetworks.co.uk/netzerofund.

If you’d like to find out more on how you can help tackle the climate emergency at home or in your local community, check out the advice and information available on www.netzeronation.scot.

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