About Community Energy Action

Photo by GroundworkAll CEPF members share three convictions:

  • that much more action is needed to meet the challenges of sustainable energy – from tackling climate change and enhancing energy security to creating affordable warmth and ending the misery of cold homes;
  • that community-led action is at the heart of any successful societal response to these challenges;
  • that community-led action will benefit from high quality support, advice and training to help stimulate, inform, guide and empower communities to be truly and enduringly effective in their sustainable energy work

Community action on energy refers to both community led responses to climate change, energy security and fuel poverty, as well as interventions that leave communities more willing and able to take action in their own right.

Community action on energy involves tapping into local creativity, enthusiasm and the growing desire to act. It is characterised by the need for dialogue, a shift to working with communities as opposed to regarding communities as passive recipients of services and a need to build a sense of collective action and purpose, as opposed to focussing only on the individual household or business.

Communities are considered to be self defining groups of individuals brought together by geography, identity or interest. 

Principles for supporting community action on energy should:

  • Foster and support community leadership
  • Involve the community in development as well as delivery
  • Be flexible and appropriate to the needs of the community
  • Provide clarity of purpose and approach
  • Be transparent around roles, expectations and outcomes
  • Be open, honest and have integrity
  • Support local capacity building to increase community control
  • Build broad based local ownership of process and outcomes
  • Build in the necessary timescales to develop dialogue, relationships and trust
  • Ensure that processes are reviewed, outcomes monitored and that learning influences future action
  • Treat all participants with respect and ensure regular feedback is provided and made publicly available
  • Maximise opportunities to celebrate success, placing the community at the centre of any focus
  • Develop a strong focus on project sustainability
  • Work with key stakeholders to better support community action on energy