The fundamentals

Before you start a community energy project we recommend you have a good look at the resources in this section. It contains things which we belive are useful for any kind of community energy project and we recommend that you've considered all of these factors before starting your journey.

The Rough Guide to Community Energy

From the makers of the well-known Rough Guides, this short book explains what community energy is, how to set up your own group, and what kind of projects you might be able to do.

Low Carbon Communities Handbook

A comprehensive handbook designed to assist community groups in running projects and engaging the community, with ideas and examples from groups in Oxfordshire, but replicable anywhere.


CAG Oxfordshire

Resource Futures


Identifying and minimising risks

Guidance on risks to be aware of when planning a project, and how to minimise them.

A step by step guide to Monitoring and Evaluation

This resource was developed to help groups working on community led approaches to climate change and energy conduct their own Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E).


University of Oxford

Envrionmental Change Institute


Discussing national energy supply and demand

This exercise, which needs to be carried out in the early stages of your project, is to help people gain a better understanding of the UK’s current and future energy needs.

Setting the scene: discussing our community's energy use

This exercise is aimed at helping communities to think about their energy use as well as setting the scene for the development of renewable and/or low-carbon projects.

Managing a community project (video)

A short film to help you to understand that good management is essential to successfully co-ordinating your community project, this film guides you through the process.

Working with volunteers

Your project is very likely to rely upon volunteers - here are some tips about how to make the most of them and keep them on board.

Approaches to community consultation and engagement

Summary of approaches you can use to consult with, engage and inform the people in your community.

Best practice in community engagement projects

CSE adheres to ten standards of community engagement, and encourages our project partners to commit to these standards on all our projects.

Behaviour change: theories, approaches and guidance

A very useful (but detailed!) resource to help you understand some of the reasons why people get around to installing energy efficiency measures or not. This should help inform your marketing and community engagement strategies.

The Uncertainty Handbook

Climate Outreach are the go-to organisation for advice on how to communicate about Climate Change and engage the wider public. This guide gives practical advice on how to spead the message about climate chnage when the future is so uncertain.


Climate Outreach


Sizzle: the new climate message

A favourite of ours from sustainability communicators Futerra. The guide explains how communicating about the positves of a low-carbon future (the sizzle) is more likely to engage people than spreading a message about climate change doom (the sausage).

Writing a marketing plan

Some tips on how to get the word out about your project in a way that will engage the people you're trying to reach.

Keeping your community group going strong

A short animated film with some tips on how to keep your group active when things get difficult or enthusiasm falters.

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