Closing date: 9am on Thursday 10 March 2022.

We’re looking for a specialist in renewable energy systems to take the reins on our projects supporting communities to generate their own clean power. 

The post will draw on all your project management and delivery skills, from budgets to reporting, and you’ll also help us to develop new projects and secure funding to make them a reality. 

Among the projects you’ll manage is ‘Solar Made Easy in the Lakes’, which supports people to install solar PV, also working with community groups to find sites in their areas for solar PV installation via the Big Solar Co-op Pioneer Programme. You’ll also identify and support two innovative and exemplar community energy projects under the Zero Carbon Cumbria Programme. 

And, of course, you’ll have the passion and drive to inspire and support people in Cumbria to play their full part in tackling climate change, helping reach the county’s goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2037.   

Application & Interview Process

Please apply by completing the application form below. Please do not send a CV. Guidance for submitting your application is included in the form.

CAfS Application Form

Closing date for return of applications is 9am on 10 March 2022.

Interviews will be held via Zoom on Wednesday 16 March 2022.

Job description

If you prefer to download the job description and person specification, please use the link below:

Project Manager: Community Energy – Job Description

BENEFITS: CAfS offers an excellent working environment, with benefits ranging from flexible working to a pension contribution. Find out more about the benefits of working at CAfS >

EMPLOYER: Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CAfS).

LOCATION:  Contractually based at our office, Eden Rural Foyer, Old London Road, Penrith, CA11 8ET, however we are open to flexible working patterns and blended (home, site and office-based) or home working is possible for this role.

REPORTS TO: Programme Manager (Low Carbon Communities Team).

HOURS: Between 22.5 and 30 hours per week (to be negotiated on appointment).

SALARY RANGE: £24,000 to £30,000 per annum (starting salary dependent on experience) full-time equivalent. Pro rata at 22.5 hours per week is £14,400 to £18,000 pa and at 30 hours per week is £19,200 to £24,000 pa.

LEGAL RIGHT TO WORK: You must have a legal right to work in the UK as CAfS is not in a position to act as a sponsor.

DURATION: Fixed-term contract from 1 April 2022 to end March 2023 (12 months with potential for extension subject to funding).

APPLICATIONS BY: 9am on Thursday 10th March 2022. Please apply using the application form. CVs will not be considered.


Our vision is a zero carbon Cumbria and we strive to bring about a better way of life, in balance with our environment.

Our mission is to empower and enable people, communities and businesses to live and work more sustainably by sharing our knowledge, practice, skills, networks and practical experience.

Now in our 24th year, CAfS is the leading organisation in Cumbria showcasing low-carbon living, energy-efficiency improvements, renewable technology and reduced use of fossil fuels, both on a domestic scale and in the community. We are an award-winning charity, with a team of 28 highly staff who manage and deliver events, advice, training and practical projects across the county as well as providing specialist consultancy services to enable individuals, communities, businesses and local authorities to drive a shift towards a zero carbon Cumbria.

CAfS is a dynamic, pro-active and responsive organisation, continually striving to deliver effective projects that make an impact and drive real change towards a low-carbon future. As such, we continually initiate new projects, accessing funding from a variety of sources or earning income from delivering specialist services.


The Low Carbon Communities Team takes an area or sector-based approach, delivering carbon reduction projects which unite people through shared action and provide benefits to their community. The term ‘community’ can include groups of residents or businesses or other groups with a common interest. We also support businesses (and occasionally residents) on an individual basis.

Our team supports communities to deliver tried and tested reduction activities as well as to trial new approaches. We practice exemplary engagement, consultation and involvement techniques, transfer knowledge and skills and provide project management.

The scope of our work is dependent upon funding opportunities and the interests of the communities. During 2022/23, our main projects include community energy, conserving and enhancing the natural and cultural heritage in the North Pennines, business support and managing the CAfS carbon footprint calculator. Past and pipeline projects include those around food, waste, electric vehicle charge points and car clubs.


  • To coordinate and deliver a range of projects which provide support and advice to communities wishing to implement renewable energy schemes.
  • To manage budgets, delivery, timescales, monitoring, evaluation and reporting in line with funder requirements.
  • To work with the Programme Manager to develop and secure new funding for other projects which enable communities, businesses, organisations and individuals to respond to the challenges of climate change.


  • To take overall responsibility for the coordination, budgeting, delivery, evaluation and reporting of the Low Carbon Communities Team’s community energy projects. During 2022/23 this will initially include managing the delivery of the ‘Solar Made Easy in the Lakes’ project, a scheme to support individuals to install solar PV, and working with community groups to find suitable sites in their areas for solar PV installation via the Big Solar Co-op Pioneer Programme. These projects are funded by South Lakeland District Council and Electricity North West.
  • Identify and facilitate support for two innovative and exemplar community energy projects as part of the delivery of the Zero Carbon Cumbria Programme (funded by the National Lottery’s Climate Action Fund).
  • To research, monitor, collate and share examples of best practice and innovation and other resources about community energy approaches, funding and delivery models and technological advances.
  • To provide and co-ordinate advice to those wishing to increase renewable energy in their community, including, where required, working up options and managing feasibility work.
  • To co-ordinate and facilitate learning and skill sharing amongst communities within and outside of Cumbria around community energy.
  • To support those wishing to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings and, where appropriate, link them to the CAfS Energy Team.
  • To work with the CAfS Cumbria Sustainability Network Co-ordinator to identify communities wishing to increase renewable energy.
  • To work with the Programme Manager and other CAfS staff to develop and deliver new community energy projects, including securing additional funding.


  • To manage project budgets effectively to maximise outcomes for each project.
  • To manage contractors and advisors as required to support the delivery of the projects.
  • To manage volunteers as required to support the delivery of the projects.


  • Help to raise the profile of CAfS other work as opportunities arise.
  • Contribute to news articles, web content and other information about the projects for publicity and CAfS’ profile raising.
  • Report to funders, line manager and board of trustees on progress, learning and impact.
  • Ensure compliance with CAfS policies, procedures and guidance, GDPR, procurement, and contribute to the organisational development of these.
  • Carry out other tasks or projects required from time to time, as directed by line manager or trustees.
  • Contribute to the on-going work of CAfS generally including attending appropriate networking meetings, team meetings and training.

Person Specification

Essential skills and attributes:

  • Specialist knowledge of renewable energy systems, in particular solar PV systems.
  • Knowledge and understanding of sustainability issues and a strong interest in the objectives that CAfS seeks to deliver.
  • A degree-level qualification or sufficient relevant experience in a relevant field.
  • Ability to evaluate different delivery options and assess technical and financial feasibility.
  • A creative and innovative approach to work and an ability to draw on ideas from elsewhere.
  • Experience of managing multiple projects including budget, programme, quality and risk management.
  • Excellent communication skills, including: the ability to put complex information across simply and concisely and to a range of different audiences; the ability to speak in public; good written communication and IT skills.
  • Understanding of relevant national and local government policies and schemes of support and legislation in relation to community and renewable energy.
  • Ability to build networks and relations with other organisations.
  • Ability to work in a small team as well as on own initiative without day-to-day supervision.
  • Ability and willingness to prioritise, work to deadlines and juggle multiple priorities.
  • Ability to work flexibly including evening and weekend working by agreement.
  • Ability to arrange your own travel throughout rural Cumbria.

Desirable criteria:

The following attributes are desirable but not essential:

  • Experience of delivering community-led schemes, especially community energy schemes.
  • Experience or understanding of different funding and delivery models for community energy generation.
  • Specialist knowledge of at least one other topic of relevance to the decarbonisation of communities and organisations e.g. energy efficiency in buildings, district heating systems, low carbon transport, carbon auditing, waste reduction and circular economy, low carbon food and farming. If you have more than one specialism, this will be an advantage.
  • Event and training organisation and delivery skills.
  • Knowledge of and contacts from across Cumbria, preferably across various community and/or sustainability-driven initiatives.
  • Experience of engagement, consultation and support to multiple stakeholders, including the ability to record and track interactions with individuals.
  • Experience of procuring and managing contracts for delivery of project outcomes.
  • Fundraising experience, specifically the ability to act quickly on opportunities and attract contract and grant funding.
  • Experience of monitoring and evaluating projects.
  • Experience in online meeting platforms and webinars.

If you would like more information about the role, please email: [email protected]