Members of renewable energy cooperatives can save up to 30% of their energy consumption, thanks to new tools developed by Horizon 2020 project REScoop Plus.
The project REScoop Plus has enabled a better understanding of how consumers change their energy consumption behaviour when they join a renewable energy cooperative, a so-called REScoop. A new online toolbox features coaching tools for individuals to reduce their personal consumption and district heating tools to provide collective heat efficiently. The toolbox is free to use for all interested renewable energy cooperatives. REScoop Plus engaged with over 175,000 people to improve their understanding of energy efficiency, and the project achieved over 29 GWh per year of energy savings.
REScoop Plus found clear statistical evidence that citizens save energy upon becoming members of a cooperative. In addition, the longer people remain as cooperative members, the more willing they are to engage in energy saving measures and to invest in renewable energy. Typically, the most successful intervention implemented by the REScoop Plus cooperatives was smart meter installation, which led to reductions of between 9 and 28% in energy consumption.
Around 2,400 REScoops exist today in Europe, counting over 650,000 members. There remains therefore much potential for the results of REScoop Plus to foster further energy savings and investment in renewables.