Celebrating our first Community Energy Open Days

Curious citizens experience community energy up-close

Fostering energy citizenship for the clean-energy transition: it's one of the main goals of the EC² project, but what does this look like in practice?

Much of the project has been spent researching exactly what the barriers and facilitators of energy citizenship are, and offering up actionable policy recommendations (you can find our policy briefs on the downloads page) to make it easier for citizens to get involved in the energy system. But we also want to meet citizens where they are, and showcase real-life, functioning examples of community energy initiatives that can increase awareness, understanding and interest in what it means to be an energy citizen.

That's why EC² is funding and supporting energy communities to host open days aimed at welcoming in citizens, local authorities, stakeholders and emerging energy communities. This November saw the first two of these five open days, with promising results.

In the UK, Colchester Community Energy ran a family-friendly day out with games, competitions, hands-on demonstrations and of course some delicious locally-made food. Besides getting local people talking about energy communities, the connections made during the day resulted in the organisation of two more open days in the area in December!

Meanwhile in Spain, EC² practice partner community Arterra Bizimodu took the opportunity to host tours of the ecovillage and its renewable energy installations: the central biomass heating, solar panels and biogas digesters. After a shared lunch, the day continued with an afternoon of talks and workshops on subjects like the production of biogas, Sociocracy (an example governance system that can be used in energy communities), passive houses, and the creation of energy communities.

The 20 participants had plenty opportunity to ask questions, network and share their experiences. There were participants from other energy communities, promotors of energy communities, energy cooperatives, eco village members, local politicians and interested citizens: we look forward to hearing what comes next, including Arterra's participation in our upcoming Energy Community Twinning Programme!

Stay tuned for details on the next open days happening in early 2024 - will there be an event near you?