Having evolved from the Highlands and Islands Community Energy Company (or HICEC), a subsidiary of Highlands and Islands Enterprise formed in 2004, Community Energy Scotland became an independent entity with a national remit in the summer of 2008. They currently employ 20 members of staff some based in head office in Inverness, some based in offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Kirkwall, Stornoway, Benbecula and Perth Community Energy Scotland is an independent charity governed by its members. The charity works closely with its members to develop projects which bring most benefit to their local communities.
Community Energy Scotland supports projects through several different programmes. This extends to non-profit distributing organisations such as social enterprises and housing associations. The charity also delivers programmes from Highlands and Islands Enterprise to support its work with communities in the Highlands and Islands, from The Lottery, and from various regional schemes across Scotland The charity also acts as a lobbying organisation with the aim of 'ensuring that community energy achieves a high status on Scotland's political agenda'.
The renewable energy potential of their area of operation is considerable, with a large number of small communities which are pioneering community owned and led projects. Many of these renewable energy projects are being undertaken by social enterprises such as development trusts.
The projects supported by Community Energy Scotland include: