Not enough is heard about the role of individuals and communities in driving down demand or, indeed, creating their own energy for the success of the government's new 'Green Deal'. This was the key idea I took from today’s series of talks at the Energy Solutions Expo and it was the message behind the session led by Tim Lunel, of the National Energy Foundation (NEF).
Tim said communities are not just those within streets and neighbourhoods, there are also ‘communities of interest’ within organisations, businesses and charities. There's a great example of measures taken by a ‘community of interest’ at Lunel’s own organisation, NEF, which practices what it preaches: NEF's buildings reach impressive standards of energy efficiency, consuming less than half of the industry best practice level. When people come together to act, it appears, they are capable of doing more collectively than they can on their own.
Ashden Award winners are also doing just that. Take the Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust. Through community-led initiatives, they have managed the demand and supply of renewable energy, reducing the islanders carbon by 50%. You can download a full case study and film of their work from our website.