Collection: Energy – powering local future

Local authorities have an important role in reducing carbon emissions and delivering national carbon targets, both as emitters of carbon and as community leaders encouraging communities to reduce emissions too. Community-based planning is critical in reducing emissions and local authorities can achieve this through enforcing energy efficiency standards in new developments, making renewable energy projects acceptable to local communities, and developing resilient infrastructure such as low-carbon district heating networks and climate-resilient housing.

This collection showcases a range of LGIU work that explores energy on a local level, including transitions in energy sources and powering future homes. From exclusive LGIU member content to our Global Local newsletters filled with innovation and inspiration, plus articles which are free for anyone to read, this collection provides resources to support better policy and practice for your communities. This collection has something to offer for staff and councillors in public services that aspire to drive a sustainable energy transition in their areas.


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Local government finance 💰

This edition highlights innovative practice and shares resources to help you make the best of your budget. We go beyond the bottom line with findings from LGIU’s Local Democracy Research Centre, which is currently exploring local government funding and finance systems from around the world.

LGIU member resources

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Transforming how we source energy

There is an increasing imperative to reduce carbon emissions across all areas of local government operations. At LGIU, we believe that the greatest change can be achieved by sharing ideas, comparing approaches and exploring learning opportunities from local governments across the world. These resources will provide useful information on local government energy policies and initiatives, identifying both their implications and potential opportunities for local communities and councils.

Photo by Fré Sonneveld on Unsplash

Hydrogen as a clean energy carrier: introduction and opportunities for local authority climate action

This member-only briefing examines the Committee on Climate Change report, How Local Authorities Can Reduce Carbon Emissions and Manage Climate Risk, which summarises the actions councils can take to tackle both these areas. Read here.

How states are moving forward on renewable energy and reducing emissions

This member-only briefing includes information on individual state and territory renewable energy policies and initiatives, and identifies their implications (and potential opportunities) for local governments. It also includes information on projects at the local and regional level. Read here.

Global Local: Sustainable energy

This Global Local newsletter looks at how hydrogen, solar, wind and other sustainable energy sources can be harnessed individually and in combination by local authorities to future-proof energy supplies for their communities. It also explores how local governments can track their own energy usage and support residents who are seeking to use energy in a more sustainable way. Open to LGIU members and Global Local premium subscribers, read here.

Find out more about our topical weekly newsletter service, Global Local right here

Energy poverty all year round: A challenge for 2022 and 2023

This member-only briefing provides an overview of what energy poverty means for people’s lives all year round and what local governments around the world are doing to combat it. Read here.

Wind, nuclear and fossil fuels: the UK’s multi-pronged energy strategy

This member-only briefing looks into whether UK homes and businesses will receive power over the next 30 years. The government’s energy security strategy – published as fuel bills are soaring – provides a range of answers but also poses some important questions. Read here.

Moving Councils to net zero: Adopting a retro-first approach

In this member-only briefing, Andrew Cribb, CEO and co-founder of 3Space, discusses the opportunity for local government shifting to a reuse-first approach to property. He argues this provides an opportunity for councils to not only meet their carbon reduction targets, but also better shape their towns and cities in a way that adapts to market conditions, is inclusive, and maximises social and local economic benefits. Read here.

Transitioning to net zero

In recent years, you’ve probably heard the term ‘just transition’ used in the context of reaching net zero, but what does it really mean?

A just transition focuses on making sure that our efforts to tackle climate change don’t end up disempowering groups vulnerable to losing out during a green economy transition, such as already-marginalised groups, poorer people, or workers in a certain industry. Instead, a just transition ensures that the benefits of a new green economy will be shared, with environmental sustainability accompanying decent work, social inclusion and poverty eradication. To end up with a just outcome, it’s also important to have a just process – making engagement and inclusivity in decision-making key

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Global Local: The Electric Vehicle transition

This Global Local explores local government’s role in the transition to EV, and provides examples for implementing and incentivising the switch to EVs. Read here.

Building Democratic Consent for Net Zero

This article introduces an upcoming research paper which explores some of the challenges that councils face in maintaining public support for and understanding of net-zero in midst of the rising cost of living, fuel prices and other challenges to public services. Read here.

The hard miles on the road to net zero

Following LGIU’s participation in the ICLEI World Congress 2021 – 2022: The Malmö Summit, we hosted a members-only workshop together with our team of experts and colleagues from the International Centre for Local Democracy (ICLD) on the role of councils on the road to net zero. Read all about the event in this blog. Read here.

Net Zero Strategy: build back better, fairer and greener

The UK Government recently released two much-anticipated strategies: the ‘Net Zero Strategy’ and the ‘Heat and Buildings Strategy’. These documents contain a wealth of information that explores the trajectories to be expected from Westminster when it comes to future climate action. Read here.

Energy efficient housing

The cost of living, and in particular increasing energy prices, is a pressing concern for many households. Rising energy prices are pushing more households into debt and poverty which will have significant implications for the public sector, including local authorities. Moreover, making homes energy efficient is critical to tackling the climate crisis and meeting climate goals over the next 15 years.

Photo by Pat Whelen on Unsplash

Global Local: Heating homes and the energy crisis

With higher energy costs globally contributing to cost of living concerns, this edition of Global Local explores some of the steps local government can take to reduce energy costs and fuel poverty. Open to LGIU members and Global Local premium subscribers, read here.

Find out more about our topical weekly newsletter service, Global Local right here

Energy efficient housing: social landlords cutting carbon on the road to net zero

Making new and existing housing energy efficient is a massive task that requires innovative solutions. But what is the best way? Can homes be made plastic-free, and can solar power be managed better so that it costs less? This member-only briefing reveals how some social landlords are facing up to the challenge. Read here.

Energy policy in turbulent times: local government’s role in energy systems

Rising energy prices are pushing more households into debt and poverty which will have significant implications for the public sector, including local authorities. This member-only briefing utilises case study examples that explore how local authorities can take the future of energy systems into their own hands. Read here.

Councils and the climate crisis: making social housing energy efficient

Improving the energy efficiency of housing is a vital part of tackling the climate crisis. This means upgrading council homes and other social housing to reduce carbon emissions. This member-only briefing looks at the money available to councils and whether local authorities can take a lead in encouraging higher energy standards in other tenures of housing. Read here.

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee Report: Energy efficiency: building towards net zero

This member-only briefing deals with a report published by the Commons Business, Energy, and Industrial Select Committee on the UK Government’s approach to delivering energy efficiency improvements to buildings. It covers policy in England and the devolved administrations. Read here.

Homes fit for our future: getting on with climate-friendly housing

This member-only briefing explores how decarbonising housing is one of the most important strands of action to deliver climate targets, whilst also addressing the wrongs of fuel poverty and poor health due to sub-standard housing. The media profile of low-carbon housing tends to focus on new builds, incorporating cutting-edge technology, and stylish Instagram-friendly pictures – but there’s so much more to consider. Read here.