Community-led local energy plan toolkit

The Scottish Government’s approach to local energy planning is focused on where they have devolved powers: heat and energy efficiency. Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategies (LHEES) form the basis of planning and delivering local energy systems in Scotland, led by the local authority, and involve engagement across multiple stakeholders, including community groups. However, there is scope to go beyond this to consider the whole energy system, including energy generation, distribution, storage and transport.

There are a number of different strategic approaches to taking forward plans that encompass the whole energy system available to local energy planning; community-led is one such approach. A community-led plan tends to focus on smaller geographical areas, but can benefit, and indeed support, other local, regional, and national strategies. We encourage you to engage with your Local Authority to understand how your plan can integrate into their wider strategic plans.

A guide and toolkit have been developed as part of a pilot project to support the development and implementation of four community-led local energy plans. This toolkit supports the guide which covers every step of the process. Read the guide before you start moving through the toolkit. There are six stages. Click each stage below to find additional guidance, templates and examples to help you develop your plan.

Stage 1


The first step of developing your Local Energy Plan is to reflect on what’s already known about your community’s energy needs, challenges and opportunities.

Find out more

Stage 2


Next you need to get the local community on board and work out what area the Local Energy Plan will focus on, and what you’re looking to achieve through the process.

Find out more

Stage 3

Data Gathering

This stage is all about the detail – using the information and knowledge you have to build a clear picture of local energy use and generation.

Find out more

Stage 4

Options Appraisal

Now it’s time to consider your options and start thinking about what changes could be made to help tackle your community’s energy challenges.

Find out more

Stage 5

Plan Development

It’s time to write your Local Energy Plan, using all the information you’ve collected and setting out actions to take forward.

Find out more

Stage 6

Taking The Plan Forward

Developing your Local Energy Plan isn’t the end of the process – now you need to work out how to put it into practice and make your community’s ambitions a reality.

Find out more