Getting people involved
Once a community energy group has been formed (see establishing your group) it is important to get additional people involved and potentially seek partnerships with local authorities and local business. The support from these groups can be vital to a project's success.
The communications and engagement section of the hub discusses ways of getting your community to understand how your project will progress, what it wants to achieve and ways to make it appealing for them to get involved. You may want people to join as volunteers to support in the planning and running of community events or you may require specialist skills from an individual or local stakeholder. It is important to plan how you will approach people and gather support.
Behaviour change is an important part of getting people involved. Understanding individual and group motivations and drivers is essential for developing strategies to encourage participation. The behaviour change section of the hub looks to understand the reasons behind these motivations and get you thinking about what messages can be conveyed and how to develop a positive campaign.
Some community energy projects can be controversial and may require detailed discussions with local residents or stakeholders before it can proceed. There are a number of different approaches to which engagement and the community engagement section will look at which approach is best suited to your project.
The Plan LoCal site from CSE has a section on getting people involved in community energy projects.
Energyshare are a digital marketing and communications agency involved in innovative engagement and behavioural change, helping people make better choices. They provide case studies, funding and grant information and a range of community energy, renewable energy and engagement advice.
The Register of Community Benefits and Engagement provides a means for developers and community groups to record the range of benefits offered by a project. The website helps communities in engaging to negotiate benefits packages. The site can also capture information on best practice for engagement.
Church Care provide information on how the Church of England is reducing its impact on climate change through energy saving in buildings and communities. The site contains information case studies, auditing and general advice to communities.
British Academy have produced a research project seeking to identify opportunities that promote, and barriers that inhibit, community energy projects in the UK.