Local net zero: central support for local authorities and communities

Published 2 February 2024

Government provides a range of support to help local areas decarbonise. This includes:

  • the Local Net Zero Accelerator Programme
  • the Local Net Zero Hubs Programme
  • funding for Net Zero Go, an on-line platform to provide councils with information to develop locally focused net zero projects
  • funding for Community Energy projects

Local Net Zero Hubs programme

The Local Net Zero Hubs programme helps local authorities and communities in England to play a leading role in decarbonisation, supporting local authorities to develop net zero projects and attract commercial investment.

Find out more about the Local Net Zero Hubs:

Local Net Zero Accelerator programme 

Government is providing £19 million for a Local Net Zero Accelerator programme to unleash the potential of local government to attract private sector investment for green growth by piloting new approaches in three areas. The Programme includes funding for:  

1. Two Local Net Zero Accelerators: to support the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the West Midlands Combined Authority to develop an aggregated bundle of projects to secure long-term sustainable private investment.  

2. A City Leap Replicator: to support York and North Yorks Combined Authority in replicating a similar model to Bristol City Leap, which has established an innovative public-private partnership to secure investment into decarbonising Bristol’s council owned estate.  

3. Local Net Zero Finance Support Service: to provide the selected local authorities with the access to relevant financial skills, knowledge, and experience to deliver the programmes of work.

Local Net Zero Forum 

We have established the Local Net Zero Forum to bring together national and local government on a regular basis to discuss policy and delivery options on net zero. 

Visit the Local Net Zero Forum page for their terms of reference, membership and meeting minutes.

Community energy

Community energy projects involve groups of people coming together to purchase, manage, generate, or reduce consumption of energy. This includes (but is not limited to), solar panels, wind farms, hydro power, rural heat networks, electric vehicle charging points, car clubs and fuel poverty alleviation schemes.  Programmes are usually not-for-profit, and profits raised from projects are reinvested back into the communities which they power.

Government recognises the role community groups play in our efforts to eliminate our contribution to climate change and offers a range of support to community energy projects.

Community Energy Fund

In addition to support for local government, government provides support to communities through the Community Energy Fund, which enables both rural and urban communities across England to access grant funding to develop local renewable energy projects for investment.

The national Fund is a grant programme for community groups and eligible third sector organisations to develop projects from feasibility to commercialisation. The funding supports eligible community groups to consider options, design schemes and overcome barriers to investment. The programme is being delivered through our Local Net Zero Hubs and further information on applying for funding can be found on their individual websites:

The Community Energy Contact Group 

As announced in the Net Zero Strategy, government has reintroduced the Community Energy Contact Group to further support community energy groups. This group provides a dedicated forum for community groups to engage with government.


Further details of the government’s approach to local net zero can be found in the: