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Partnership Energy Planning as a tool for realising European Sustainable Energy Communities (PEPESEC)

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The PEPESEC project supported the emergence of European sustainable energy communities through the use of local community planning for the efficient supply, distribution and use of renewable energy sources and improved management of conventional energy. The project aimed to learn from and widen the use of existing best practice energy planning methodologies (from Sweden and wider EU) and further develop these through the addition of innovative techniques to facilitate the involvement of all stakeholders whose buy-in and actions are required for effective energy plan delivery. Through partner/stakeholder engagement, community needs and aspirations were recognised and incorporated into energy plans which promote the significant economic, social and environmental benefits of developing a low-carbon economy. Innovative uses of technologies, especially ICT, to support stakeholder engagement and sustainable energy awareness was also a feature of the project.


  • Interactive knowledge base about best practice in engagement approaches to build up partnership working to achieve sustainable energy communities - key focus on community engagement and behaviour change and how this can best be promoted and incentivised
  • Toolkit on practice and methodologies for engaging partners and stakeholders and building sustainable partnerships together with sustainable energy action plans in participating city-regions
  • Advice and guidance on how engagement approaches, from policy/strategy level to practical (bottom up) level, can best be used to stimulate partner/stakeholder engagement in three key areas: senior decision makers (including at the political level), citizens and businesses
  • Identification of how innovative digital technologies and applications can be used to improve energy planning, community and business involvement and wider behaviour change
  • Establishing an effective dissemination and communications network through European local authorities and regional government agencies, coordinated through Eurocities and the Knowledge Society Forum

Lessons learned

  • Buy-in of local stakeholders is key to enable the rise of energy planning in the agenda of municipalities.
  • The different governance in Europe as well as local differences around energy markets has highlighted the need to support energy planning within the local, regional and national contexts. In a time-limited project such as PEPESEC, the different municipalities are at different stages within their development, and it is clear that much of the benefit of the knowledge transfer will be in the continuing energy planning activity that takes place after the project's end.

Partners and coordinator

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Manchester City Council
United Kingdom
Contact point: 
Dave Carter
+44 (0) 161 255 8111


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In brief

01/01/2008 to 30/06/2010
Contract number: 

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