Having gathered a team, done a baseline energy assessment and created an energy plan, the next step is to get the entire community involved. Ideally, community engagement should be one of the first steps in developing an energy plan. Effectively carrying out a community plan requires a diverse team at each step of the way. As the plan is presented to the community it is also crucial that equity considerations be thoroughly considered.
If you haven’t done so already, make sure all key stakeholders have seen and provided input into your energy plan. These should include:
Discussions with these groups will not only improve the plan, but they will uncover diverse and original ways to carry it out. And, along the way, you will identify champions to carry different initiatives forward.Read More
Depending on your town’s size and the resources available to you, you could engage the community in various ways, including:
A valuable resource for community engagement is the Sierra Club Ready for 100 Campaign. In their own words, “Ready For 100 (RF100) is a distributed campaign, creating networks of local leaders who support each other in building a powerful, well-organized movement from the ground up. Local volunteers are working city-by-city pursuing equity through transitions to 100% clean renewable energy that center the needs of affected communities.” RF100 is actively being carried out in Connecticut; look for further information under Resources below.
As you implement your energy plan, you also have an opportunity to do so in a manner that advances equity across the community. A valuable resource to this end is the Sustainable Connecticut Equity Toolkit. This toolkit provides a lens through which to view all projects and in so doing, to “build and strengthen municipal processes to be more inclusive, cohesive, and representative of all community members.” This toolkit, and the support the Sustainable CT program gives in using it, are valuable, local resources for not just advancing clean energy but enhancing equity in our communities.