2nd July 2013
There is no consensus on a precise definition of ‘community power’. It can relate to education and raising public awareness around energy efficiency and sustainability issues, it may emphasise self-sufficiency, local determination, and even production of energy by the community itself. ‘Community’ may also mean different things, ranging from one or two people living in close proximity to each other, to a large group of geographically dispersed individuals that share a common interest.
For the purposes of the Community Power Project (Co-Power Project), we understand community energy generally as projects where citizens own or participate in the production and/or use of sustainable energy. There are several characteristics that may be common to such community power schemes/projects:
Community power can help place citizens and communities at the centre of the low carbon transition. It involves them directly in energy decisions, and provides them with more control over possibilities to switch to a more sustainable lifestyle. It also focuses on cooperation and development of common goals between citizens, leading to stronger communities overall.
Community power also contributes towards improving energy independence, energy savings, and ensuring secure and sustainable energy supply.