Mapping the social impact of energy communities

Resources
  • Inspiration
  • Preparation
  • Implementation
  • Operation
  • Community
  • Europe

Energy communities are a new stakeholder in the energy system, different from private investors and public enterprises. While the environmental and economic impact of sustainable energy projects is well recognised and largely measurable, it is difficult to make the same claim about the social impact.

This report presents a non-exhaustive, yet rigorous, set of indicators of the social impact of energy communities. The indicators are grouped into nine categories: organisational logic and sector structure, sociocultural impacts, impacts related to technology, knowledge, socio-environmental impacts, broader societal benefits, policy and political processes, practices and socio-economic impacts. Additionally, the report assesses the challenges in measuring and operationalising the integration of social indicators in energy communities.

The report is the result of a multi-stakeholder workshop held in November 2021 with academics, practitioners and other stakeholders to reflect on the various social impacts of community energy groups, analyzed through their respective fields of expertise. It has been jointly prepared by the European federation of citizen energy cooperatives REScoop.eu, Electra Energy cooperative, and the Heinrich Boell Foundation Office in Thessaloniki, Greece.

Further knowledge

Explore related resources

Procurement guide cover
Europe

Procurement guide for community energy

A guide that presents different options in which municipalities may be able to adapt their public procurement processes to better support energy communities.

  • Implementation
  • Operation
  • Financial
  • Political & legal
Digital tools guide illustration
Europe

Digital tools for energy communities – a short guide

A guide that identifies and shortlists practical examples of digital solutions for energy communities in different scopes of application.

  • Preparation
  • Implementation
  • Operation
  • Staff & organisation
  • Technical
Europe

BECoop replication handbook – A comprehensive guide for community-based bioenergy projects

A step-by-step guide to initiating and establishing bioenergy community heating projects

  • Inspiration
  • Preparation
  • Community
  • Financial
  • Political & legal
  • Technical
Support from professionals

Questions about your energy community?

Whether you don’t know where to start from or you are stuck with a specific issue in the development of your energy community, an expert can help you.