What role for community in the energy crisis?

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Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions

Rapid rises in the price of domestic energy supplies have got many people thinking about how they can save energy at home and in their communities. Some communities around the country are keen to ‘do their part’, support neighbours and reduce demand as prices rise.

At least a well-attended event last week, put on by Community Energy England, suggests as much, even if those communities in attendance were likely to be in the minority. The event aimed to identify quick wins and scale existing solutions to help people through the current energy crisis and, if action also addressed the climate crisis, all the better. This focus on the immediate situation is understandable but raises an obvious question: what is the role of community in these layered energy, price and climate crises?

Recent research, on the emerging business models of energy communities offers insights on their potential to reduce demand. There are two main insights.

In the short term, deploying more energy efficient technologies is the quickest and most widely used route to reduce demand by communities
There are many proven technologies that hold the potential to reduce demand now.  Many solutions are widely available, cost-effective and easy to use but aren’t being taken up to the extent possible. Some options, like LED light bulbs, can simply replace existing higher energy consuming alternatives, like incandescent light bulbs. Other options include topping up loft insulation or tackling draughts using off-the-shelf products to seal gaps around windows and doors for example.

Read the full blog here on the CREDS website

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