Communities are at the forefront of the transition to clean energy. It is in our towns and cities that we are most able to make meaningful, lasting changes. This transition is a very large undertaking and requires a team of dedicated residents. This page provides some suggestions and resources for getting organized.
The first step to undertaking a project of this scope is to build a project team. Transitioning to clean energy will impact every aspect of town life, so you will want the team to include broad representation. If your town already has a Clean Energy Task Force or Commission, you might choose to work through this group. If not, you might consider forming one, as it can help your team be more effective.
Before jumping into the technical details, it is wise to establish an initial project vision, scope, high-level goals and approach.
Each of these steps is discussed in greater detail below.
Build a Project Team
Because this transition will touch every community member the team should be a cross section of the community members. It will require business owners, key municipal staff, local grassroots organizations and large sector representatives. The idea is to assemble a group that is diverse enough to represent your community and engaged enough to help you get things done after planning. Having diverse representation from across your community is necessary to develop a credible and actionable plan. Additionally, a varied group of planning team members may be able to help you leverage broader resources to support implementation.
In forming your team, you might want to consider representation from the following groups:Read More
Across the country, Clean Energy Task Forces or Commissions have proven to be effective groups in promoting the transition to clean energy. These entities speak with the authority of having been commissioned by the town authorities to address energy issues. As such, their recommendations and plans have greater authority and impact than those from other groups.
To find out if your town already has such a group, or to reach out to a representative from a neighboring town, use the link below. If you would like to form a new Clean Energy Task Force, below are sample charters for several existing groups.
For a project as bold and wide-ranging as the transition to renewable energy, it is essential for the team to share a common understanding of the basic project features. Clearly, many of these features will evolve as the project progresses, but it is important to take time up front to establish a common view of a few core areas.
Community Energy Resource Guide, Rocky Mountain Institute, 2015.
Energy Action Planning at a Glance, Excel Energy.
To find a local clean energy task force, click here.
Sample Clean Energy Task Force/Commission Charters, Charges and Resolutions: