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What is a Sustainable Energy Community?

The official definition is local communities in which politicians, planners, project developers market actors and citizens actively co-operate to develop high degrees of intelligent energy supply, favouring renewable energy sources, together with a conscientious application of energy efficiency measures.

But what does it mean?

Energy is currently a big issue that has gained all our attention: rising oil prices and energy import dependence has highlighted the need for a new energy policy, a sustainable one, that involves tools, resources and instruments at hand for all communities.

Sustainable energy communities means implementing integrated energy patterns at local level: the use of Renewable Energy Sources (RES), Energy Efficiency (EE) and the Rational Use of Energy (RUE) are of course the grassroots for this but this is not enough, it is necessary to create a new approach in which common objectives are to be achieved in a balanced way by all the local key actors involved.

To this aim, an interaction between three areas is needed: the municipality with its policy making, the citizens by strengthening its consumers role, the market actors (technical experts, private companies, energy suppliers, energy service providers).

What can a municipality do?

The city can:

  • prepare an environment favourable for sustainable energy topics by committing to implementing an ambitious energy plan
  • use regulatory and financial means that facilitates the use of sustainable energy technologies and approaches
  • involve politician, planners and developers in the implementation
  • raise awareness on energy issues
  • involve the market actors and citizens in the implementation of the actions
  • create an interrelation between them for a successful cooperation in agreements and projects with the objectives of a new sustainable energy approach
  • create favourable conditions of local energy markets and services that may allow the encounter of the private sector with the public body and the citizens.

This process, based on a continuous interrelation between committed actors, will lead to a new concept of Energy Community, that will benefit from the commitments taken and will pave the way to a cleaner and a better targeted local environment: a successful experience that may help other communities in achieving the same goals.


Possible actions are:

  • improved security of energy supply
  • better use of RES
  • use of bio-fuels for transport
  • reduction of CO2 emissions
  • better EE of buildings and street lighting
  • etc.

Some examples:

City of Barcelona (ES)
(external link) (www)
City of Dobrich (BG)
(external link) (.doc)
City of Malmo (SE)
(external link) (www)
City of Padova (IT)
(external link) (.pdf)
City of Vaxjo (SE)
(external link) (www)
City of Woking (UK)
(external link) (www)
Solar Cell Coop (DK)
(external link) (.pdf)
Province of di Ferrara (IT)
(external link) (.pdf)

Other actions?

  Take a look here and here    
IEEA Publications
Renewable electricity- Make the switch
(external link) (.pdf)
  Energy Efficient Homes and Buildings (external link) (.pdf)
  Energy-efficient Products (external link) (.pdf)
footer link to Italian LA21 Association web site

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The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.

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