Local energy plans

What is a Local Energy Plan?

Local Energy Plans are created by local communities. They set out key priorities and opportunities identified by the community,  taking into account the views and priorities of a range of stakeholders, including individuals, community organisations, local businesses, the local authority, the distribution network operator and local generators.

A Local Energy Plan enables the local community to look at its existing and future energy needs (in terms of power, heat and transport) and state where it sees priorities for action. It also identifies opportunities that can help the community take practical action to support its current and future energy system developments. 

What is the COBEN Programme?

The COmmunity BENefits of Civic Energy (COBEN) project aims to evolve support for community energy to move from a focus of electricity generation supported by subsidies to a more whole system approach where communities’ energy generation, energy efficiency, heat, transport, storage and future usage needs are considered together. Read more about the COBEN project. 

Local Energy Scotland is leading the Scottish pilot to develop and implement local energy plans for four local communities in the Scottish Highlands and Islands Enterprise Region and to develop a common local energy plan methodology, business model templates and IT tools.

Where are the pilot areas?

The four locations are: Brae (Shetland Islands), Drumnadrochit (Inverness), Barra and Vatersay (Western Isles) and Oban (Argyll).  The locations were chosen to reflect the range in sizes, locations, attributes and challenges that communities have across the Highlands and Islands.

Follow the links above to read the plans for each area, which were all completed in July 2018.

The development of the energy plan for each area has been led by a local steering group of community representatives and representatives from the local authority, Home Energy Scotland and Local Energy Scotland. 

Guide to developing local energy plans

A guide to developing local energy plans has been developed to support the delivery of the project and help communities and other stakeholders understand what is involved and how to go about developing a local energy plan. The guide has been developed as a working methodology. It will be reviewed and updated in July to September 2018 to incorporate learning following the development of the four pilot plans. A series of toolkits will also be developed to support the guide as part of the review and updating of the methodology.

Local Energy Plan image  Read the guide to developing local energy plans

Are there other examples of local energy plans?

Another example of a local energy plan is the Burntisland Community Energy Masterplan. Fife Council wanted to understand how Burntisland could reduce its carbon footprint by 80%. The project helped the local community to understand their energy needs and how these could be met with low carbon, locally supplied energy.

The plan will now be used to help inform the planning process and determine development in the area.

Read the Burntisland Community Energy Masterplan case study to find out more.