Why does it make sense to set up an Energy community?

As the world becomes more conscious of the ramifications of environmental pollution, the need for a greener and more sustainable energy system has never been more obvious. As a result, communities across the globe have started exploring alternative energy solutions to reduce their carbon footprint while saving costs on energy bills. One practical solution to achieving this is setting up an energy community. An energy community is a group of people, small businesses, and organizations that collaborate to generate, buy, and manage energy from renewable sources. The benefits of setting up an energy community are vast. Here are some reasons why it makes sense to take the initiative.

1. Cost savings

One of the most significant benefits of setting up an energy community is cost savings. By pooling resources, energy consumers can reduce the cost of installing and maintaining renewable energy infrastructure, and this translates to reduced energy costs for its members.

2. Decreased dependence on traditional energy sources

The world’s reliance on fossil fuels for energy generation is rapidly depleting as resources diminish, and the costs associated with conventional energy sources increase. Energy communities enable communities to generate their energy from renewable sources while reducing dependency on traditional energy sources.

3. Economic benefits

Energy communities create new jobs, generate revenue, promote local investment, and keep energy money within the community. Also, energy communities decrease multiple dependencies addressing key resources. This contributes to a location’s long-term attractiveness in the global competition between cities and regions.

4. Strengthened communities

Energy communities require collaboration and the active participation of their members, leading to improved community involvement and unparalleled community development. Some of the best methods for participation start from simply advising citizens. Others start from municipalities that already gain the citizens’ trust. Whatever approach they follow, energy communities result in enhanced knowledge exchange and a more resilient social texture.

In conclusion, setting up an energy community is a smart sustainable solution tackling the challenges of today’s world. It provides numerous benefits, including cost savings, decreased dependence on traditional energy sources and energy providers, environmental benefits, promotes community involvement, and economic benefits. With a collaborative effort and proper planning, energy communities can successfully achieve their sustainability goals. By doing so they lead the path to a decentralised green future.

Picture: Colourful pins on paper by MetsikGarden on Pixabay.

Scaling-up Energy Communities

Energy communities have become a popular concept that has been gaining momentum in recent years. These communities are creating a sustainable future by using renewable energy sources and reducing their dependence on fossil fuels. Scaling up these communities can be challenging, but it is necessary to make a significant impact. In this blog post, we discuss what is necessary to scale up energy communities and some examples of successful scaling.


To scale up energy communities, funding is essential. Many communities do not have the financial resources to invest in renewable energy sources or hire professionals to manage their systems. Governments and private investors must provide resources to develop and maintain community energy projects. Grants, loans, and other incentives are necessary to help finance these projects. What shall be considered from an energy communities point of view is to be clear about pricing to avoid funding gaps. Such funding gaps result from cheap energy supply or spikes in costs for maintenance necessary for the operation of renewable energy plants.

Public support

Public support is critical to scaling up energy communities. Residents must be aware of the benefits of renewable energy and the importance of reducing carbon emissions. Interviews with TANDEMS partners have shown that public support varies over time. It is not a constant that energy communities could build on. Also, the interviews have shown that citizens are more likely to kick off interaction with energy communities if approached by a representative whom they can identify with. Finally, communities must educate their residents on the benefits and challenges of renewable energy in the long term. When people understand the benefits, they are more likely to support community energy projects in their upscaling.

Technical expertise

Scaling up energy communities requires technical expertise to plan, design and implement renewable energy systems. This can be achieved using external partners or sustainability consultants such as Robin Doet; a company that develops and supervises sustainability projects. Indeed it provides advice on policy and pushes potential policy changes to enable the creation of energy communities. 

Furthermore, training programs build local expertise on how to ensure the sustainability of energy communities. This is exactly why in TANDEMS we implement train-the-trainer workshops.


Scaling up energy communities is essential to achieve a sustainable future. It requires funding, public support, and technical expertise. Examples of successful scaling demonstrate the potential to build such a cleaner and greener future. Day by day there are more people being involved in community-driven energy supply. So long this is true for Northern America and Europe. To facilitate a just energy transition for all, we should not forget about promoting decentralized and non-profit approaches to energy supply in the global South. The vision must be to ensure all future generations can afford and enjoy a cleaner and more sustainable tomorrow.

Picture: Solarstrom by Solarimo auf Pixabay 

5 Reasons Why Energy Communities Give Power to the People

Energy communities are groups of people that come together to collectively generate, store, and manage energy. Often, they are formed with the aim of increasing access to renewable energy sources such as solar panels, wind turbines, and biogas generators, lowering energy costs, and finally reducing a neighbourhood’s impact on the environment. By pooling their resources, knowledge, and experience, energy communities create more sustainable and resilient energy systems than would be possible at the individual level. They may also invest in energy storage technologies such as batteries, which allow them to capture excess energy and use it later when demand is higher. By doing so, energy communities reduce their reliance on traditional energy sources and lower their carbon footprint. 

Here are five reasons why energy communities allow people to take back control of their energy sources and become independent energy providers and consumers.  

1. Energy communities decrease energy costs

In an energy market dominated by large-scale players, energy communities building on renewable energy sources have a great potential to significantly reduce the members’ energy bills. Building on the collective rather than the individual, the prices for both, energy production and purchase are lower. Some energy communities produce and sell to customers at wholesale prices. For example, Helsingin Energia, an energy community in Helsinki, Finland, offers electricity tariffs up to 25% cheaper than traditional local energy providers. That’s as if you would get electricity but without paying VAT. 

2. Energy communities allow members to have a say in how their energy is produced and distributed 

With the gas and electricity shortage expected for winter 2022/2023, an increasing amount of people have become aware of the fact, that they do not really have a say about their electricity. Indeed, many have experienced a maximum of dependency. This is less true for people engaged in energy communities. As members they can actively participate in decision-making processes – the very basis for ‘controlling’ or ‘being in power’ of their own energy usage. To pick yet another example from outside the TANDEMs project, the Samso Energy Academy in Denmark empowers community members to own and operate wind turbines, solar panels, and district heating systems. Have a look at their website; they have an inspiring collection of talks on sustainable energy and energy communities! 

3. Energy communities encourage the use of renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydropower

It is untrue to assume that we will have to wait for years until we have something to gain from cutting CO2 emissions. As a matter of fact, every reduction of the reliance on non-renewable sources for energy production that contributes to a cleaner planet today gives a little more autonomy for other decisions that will be pressing in the upcoming years. Surely, power to the people might be a quite general claim at this stake. It is not said that the newly evolved scope for action plays out in your energy community. To those arguing reducing here is nonsense while Asian countries increase air pollution: Do you really believe atmosphere, air, and pollution stop at the border? 

4. Energy communities encourage energy efficiency by providing members with advice and support to reduce their energy consumption

Knowledge is power and luckily there are many advisors and organisations, which navigate citizens through setting up energy communities. For instance, French Energies POSIT’IF offers free energy audits to its community members and provides personalised recommendations on how to reduce energy usage. Other projects, such as Newcomer – Exploring New Energy Communities, assess the regulatory, institutional, and social conditions to facilitate learnings on a meta, or more precisely, supra-local level. 

5. Energy Communities create jobs 

We’ve started with economy. We end with economy. Hovering over the EU Centres for Development of Vocational Training map of occupation needs in Europe, you’ll quickly find out that the only country in Europe where mining personnel is still hired is Bulgaria. For Czechia and the Northwest region, a 2021 published study of the European Greens (that are obviously not the representatives of coal mining industries) expect 10,000 jobs in the mining sector to be soon replaced by more than 20,000 jobs in renewable energy. The reason: decentral energy harvesting. Indeed, energy communities provide job opportunities for residents in various areas such as installation, maintenance, and customer service. 

Overall, energy communities empower citizens by giving them control over their energy usage. It seems almost ridiculous to assume, they have the potential to empower people. Instead, they do so on an everyday basis already. Energy communities create jobs and decrease the cost of energy. They allow for a minimum scope of action and open windows of opportunity to fight climate change. Finally, they give communities a voice and reduce dependency. The latter is the very essence of empowerment.

Image by Cornell Frühauf from Pixabay