Carbon Offset Fund guidelines

The Carbon Offset Fund (COF) now has new guidelines.

The COF provides funding to support projects that reduce carbon emissions in the Borough of Milton Keynes (MK).


The COF is open to: 

  • MK community groups and community organisations
  • public organisations including schools
  • MK Council, Parish and Town Councils
  • MK charities and not for profit organisations
  • bulk domestic schemes active within the borough  

Please note carbon capture or offsetting are not eligible, neither are energy storage projects. Only carbon saving projects will be offered funding.

Capital Funding

The COF usually provides a maximum of 50% capital finance support for eligible organisations who aim to reduce their carbon footprint. At the discretion of the COF board, more capital may be offered if the projects satisfy social need, high visibility or educational value. Of particular interest are projects that encourage community engagement that support and create knowledge sharing networks for carbon reduction activities.  Projects that create new green jobs are also welcome. 

Applying for COF

Applicants must calculate the annual carbon savings and the cost per tonne to be delivered by the proposed project over the estimated lifetime of the measure/s. Calculations should use the current Government emissions factors. These should be on the new Department of Energy Strategy and Net Zero pages but may still be on the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) or Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). Currently they can be found at this web address Greenhouse gas reporting: conversion factors 2022 - GOV.UK (

Applications must include calculations and supporting data such as

  • the nominal lifetime of the measure
  • manufacturer’s guarantees
  • BBA (British Board of Agrement) data
  • building lifetime data.   

At least three quotes are required with evidence that a procurement process has been followed.  The level of support will be based on the lowest quote which shall be agreed before project start.

Release of project funding shall be based on receipted invoices for the work. Any unforeseen changes to the project will be at the applicant’s risk and may not be considered eligible for additional financial support unless there are exceptional circumstances. 

The applicant is responsible for planning or building control requirements and permissions as well as proof of property ownership, that the building is structurally sound and any beneficiaries.

The Funding will be provided when the installation is finished.   

Applications are approved in principle by Sustainability team and the funding release will be approved by the planning obligations team. Applications will be considered by a COF board along with officer recommendation. The COF board meet quarterly but it may be possible to fast-track the process if necessary.

Completion and Monitoring  

Informal discussions with sustainability team officers are encouraged at all stages to ensure a scheme meets the policy and financial criteria for funding.  The grantee must provide evidence of energy and carbon emissions for at least one year before the works and at least one year after.

Where renewable energy installations are involved, monthly meter readings from a separate   meter must be provided following completion. Additional sub metering, if required is an eligible cost. This is to allow verification of the efficacy of the measure(s).

Above the financial threshold of £75,000 the council may require external assessment of the project, both before and after the project is approved and completed. The cost of this is not eligible for COF.

All approvals and financial processes, including procurement, will be subject to the council’s internal audit process. Upon completion, the grantee must provide evidence of the expenditure and physical completion of the works to required standards (MCS certification, guarantees,  building control  sign  off etc).  Photos of the installation must be provided and may be used by the council in publicity for the scheme. MKCC reserves the right to inspect the works during and after completion, subject to an agreed time and date with the grantee.   

For more information and a copy of the guidelines please email