REScoops usually invest in renewable energy projects, although many initiatives are now also shifting their attention to energy efficiency. The following stories illustrate successful collaborations between REScoops and local municipalities. Some demonstrate how REScoops link renewable energy to energy efficiency projects.
- Emissions Zéro (Belgium) set up a REScoop for the operation of a wind project in the region of Dour (Wallonia, Belgium). 75% of the shares are in the hands of local citizens. The local municipality owns the remaining 25%. Profits are shared among the investors. Thus, the local municipality generates revenues from the project and reinvests these in renewable energy, energy efficiency or other projects that benefit the community.
- In 2001, Ecopower (Belgium) won a public tender in Eeklo (Flanders, Belgium) to erect its first wind turbines on a state-owned piece of land because the tender required direct participation by local citizens. Ecopower was the only organisation that allowed citizens to share in the profits and use the electricity in their homes at a reasonable price.
- Ecopower (Belgium) uses part of the revenues from wind projects to pay the wages of local energy experts. The latter work on behalf of the local community of Asse (Belgium) and Eeklo (Belgium). Their job is to provide local citizens with energy advice and to develop projects that improve the overall energy efficiency of public buildings in the local community.
- A renewable energy cooperative in Odenwald (Germany) used part of its solar revenues to finance the construction of a sustainable concert hall, a building that benefits all the citizens, not just those who invested in the cooperative.
- PajoPower, EnerGent, Courant d’Air, Ecopower (Belgium) and Carbon Coop (UK) help their members take extensive energy efficiency measures in their homes. Most also help local authorities improve the overall energy efficiency of public buildings. REScoops thus are ideal partners for local authorities who signed the Covenant of Mayors.
- Shocked by the Chernobyl nuclear accident, the “stromrebellen” in Schönau (Germany) organised a referendum to take control of the local distribution grid. They set up Elektrizitätswerke Schönau (EWS), a REScoop that produces and supplies energy (electricity and biogas) from renewable sources to 150,000 private homes. The cooperative also owns and manages its own distribution grid.
- EnergieID (Belgium) and Beedata (Spain) developed their own online energy monitoring tool. The application allows citizens to keep track of their energy consumption and compare their consumption with that of similar households. EnergieID has clearly contributed to a steady decline in the average energy consumption of users.
More inspiring stories are included in Learn from Best Practices.