LOW to middle-income households in six communities across the South West will benefit from a £675,000 Government grant to install eco-friendly heating technologies.
Projects in Exmoor, Totnes and Crediton were among the successful applicants, Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker announced this week.
The cash came from the Renewable Heat Premium Payment Communities Scheme, launched in July this year, which aims to kick-start new projects and build on renewable heating schemes already up and running.
It is designed to help people save money on bills and providing low carbon heating alternatives.
Mr Barker said: "We need to transform the way we heat our homes to help keep bills down and cut carbon too.
"Community groups, with their enthusiasm, local knowledge and drive, need to be at the very heart of this revolution.
"The money from this scheme will help around 290 householders take advantage of the great benefits of renewable heat." Community-based organisations including co-operatives, voluntary groups, social enterprises and development trusts were eligible to apply.
They can use the funding to install low carbon heating kit like solar thermal panels, biomass boilers and heat pumps into homes in their local area.
The scheme is administered by the Energy Saving Trust (EST). Successful projects were assessed on criteria including the project vision, potential benefits for the local area, potential partners and relevant experience of delivering similar projects. The majority of the project work needs to be completed by end of March 2013.
Exmoor Woodheat received £189,000 in the round of funding, Totnes Transition Streets Renewable Heat was given £69,000 and Warm Homes Project, part of Sustainable Crediton, got £39,000.
EST director Andy Deacon said: "Communities are at the forefront of the scheme and will play a vital role in learning how community buying networks could help make renewable heating more affordable for millions," he added.