‘Community Energy’ refers to people working together to reduce and manage energy use, and increase and support local energy generation. It can help promote the infrastructural, social and cultural changes we need to reduce the impact of climate change and increase energy security. The core part of community energy initiatives is people, and therefore engagement is essential. In this work, the authors appraised three innovative mechanisms used to engage residents in Project SCENe (Sustainable Community Energy Networks), an ongoing research and development community energy scheme in a real-world setting involving 31 homes in its first phase along the banks of Nottingham’s River Trent. New tools for improving crucial consumer and citizen engagement, participation, co-production and demand-side management were used and their efficacy analysed. These included a user engagement platform, an energy interaction model and in-home smart technology. The findings presented here epitomise the centrality of social-technological interdependencies and the importance of social and collective processes throughout these. It was concluded that civil society were essential actors in the services used and shaped through the passive and active processes that underpin what we do and why, and that utilising these in interrelated methods supports the development and outcomes of such projects.
Rodrigues, L., Gillott, M., Waldron, J. A., Cameron, L., Tubelo, R., & Shipman, R. (2019). Community Energy Networks in the Making: Project SCENe, Nottingham. In E. Ng, S. Fong, & C. Ren (Eds.), PLEA 2018: Smart and Healthy Within the Two-Degree Limit: Proceedings of the 34th International Conference on Passive and Low Energy Architecture; Dec 10-12, 2018 Hong Kong, China (833-838)