Who You Need to Start Community Energy Program

In our last post we talked about the three things you need to do before you begin working on a community energy program (CEP). Now that you know the basics, let’s talk about the professional skill sets needed to start your program. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy has outlined a comprehensive guide to Community Energy Strategic Planning (CESP), but before you dive into all those hours of reading, here are the three roles you need.

  • A champion. The first thing to do is to find a town or city official in your community who is interested in helping you: a mayor, a member of a town board, a city planner. What you are looking for is an elected or appointed official who can
    -Agree that this plan is a good idea
    -Help you navigate the sometimes complex world of energy planning and government
    -Be a name you can use to show interested stakeholders that you are serious about a CEP
  • Leadership. Leadership can be one project manager or a group of a few people who are comfortable sharing this role. Leadership will be responsible for researching, acting as a point of contact for many aspects of the CEP, and knowing all the moving parts. They will also help to create teams that will be vital to your project as you move along. These might include an Outreach Team or a Grant Research Team.
  • A financial planner. Someone who understands finances thoroughly should be part of your team. This person needs to be able to plan, track, and adjust finances as the project moves from planning to execution.
With these three roles, you can start your strategic plan and move forward with a community energy program in an organized, effective way.

Why We Like It

Sometimes it’s hard to know how to begin. The CESP is a good place for your team to start, but before you even do that, you need to know who your team is. We’ve outlined these roles so you can start your community energy program confidently, and move to independent, clean energy as quickly as possible.

With so many voices in the conversation on clean energy and climate change, it can be hard to get your head around just what it all means. The EESI blog puts the sometimes complex issues surrounding sustainability and renewable power into simple, plain language. Take part in the discussion–share your opinion in the comments section.