Energy Conscious Communities Defined

November 10, 2020

 

Community Energy Transformation

What is an energy conscious community? There are lots of technical ways to describe it, but I believe it comes down to this.

An energy conscious community understands its local energy system.

When we relied on a pre-industrial energy system – when we burned wood for warmth and to cook our food, raised working animals to plow the land and for transportation, and harnessed the movement of water to grind grain and saw logs – we had an active, daily role in our local energy system.

As our communities became to rely on imported electricity and fossil fuels, energy conversation infrastructure became highly centralized in large-scale power generation fuel refining facilities. Municipal zoning ensured these facilities, and their linear distribution infrastructure were located out of sight of local populations.

Out of sight, out of mind.

An energy conscious community acts to reduce energy consumption, emissions and costs associated with their local energy system.

Communities are once again taking an active role in their local energy systems to fight climate change, to embrace new, cost-effective, clean energy technologies, and to address energy security concerns of their residents and businesses, including energy reliability, affordability and accessibility.

When community leaders – regardless of sector – understand the global and local benefits of community energy transformation, they do not shirk the opportunity to make a difference. They act.

We won't be chopping wood (except for a campfire) but we will have more choice as to where our energy comes from and how we use it.