Low Carbon Communities Challenge
What is the programme about?
The Low Carbon Communities Challenge is an innovative approach to policy development being taken forward by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), working alongside a number of government departments. Recognising that Government doesn’t necessarily know the best means of helping people cut their carbon emissions, the LCCC was a two-year research programme designed to test delivery options through practical delivery on the ground at community level.
To get a quick sense of what the project was all about:
What is the Challenge doing?
Government is providing approximately £500,000 to 22 test communities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Its aim is to support both technical innovation and understand the social changes that are needed to help meet carbon reduction targets. So it’s about understanding the science and the context.
Through the Challenge, the experiences of people living and working in communities that take part will be shared publicly, along with the quantitative data on carbon and energy savings. In doing so, we will engage closely with the selected communities so that the data is openly shared and so that the communities have the tools and opportunities to be active participants in the learning.
The Llamas community in Wales are one of the communities involved. The project is pioneering, demonstrating, and promoting a rural development model that empowers people to affordably create their own carbon neutral lifestyles through new planning policy initiatives which allow for highly sustainable developments in the open countryside.
What tools are available?
- Hard data on energy use - baseline and historical trends: Capturing baseline data and historic trends on domestic and non-domestic energy use in buildings in each of the 22 communities. We will source this information using meter point data.
- Socio-economic and environmental behaviour data: we have commissioned a household survey across the successful communities - one before the challenge begins and one at the end - involving a sample of residents in each community to capture information on the wider impacts of the Challenge.
- Public dialogue & co-inquiry: Facilitated events and other supported engagement work with each of the 22 communities to understand the emerging lessons from the Challenge - for the project, the partners as well as for policy making.
- A communications toolkit is available for communities to publicise their projects - download here
How will the outputs be used?
- The work aims to reconnect policy making with front line professionals and ensure that those who develop policy do so in close partnership with the people who are responsible for its implementation.
Business and society
- Communities receive practical help from a range of third sector partners (including Global Action Plan, Groundwork, National Energy Action and others). This includes dedicated help to set up social enterprises, thanks to support from the Office of the Third Sector's Social Enterprise Action Research programme.
PROGRAMME FACTS AND FIGURES
Start and end dates: 08/02/2010 to 30/03/2012
Other organisations involved:
The Sciencewise Expert Resource Centre for Public Dialogue In Science and Innovation (ERC), funded by the Department for Business Innovation & Skills will be co-funding the public dialogue and co-inquiry element of this programme.
Sciencewise-ERC helps policy makers commission and use public dialogue to inform policy decisions in emerging areas of science and technology.
Applicants to the £7.5 million investment - the 'Energy and Communities Collaborative Venture' have been invited to explore synergies with the winning LCCC communities. Jointly funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the fund is spearheading collaboration between academics and communities.
The LCCC represents a new approach to policy making and this is recognised by the Cabinet Office, who have chosen the project as one of three 3 demonstration areas for their ‘Listening to the front line’ initiative – along with work by the Department for Health on obesity and Lewisham Council's work on customer redress.
On 16th August 2011 five LCCC evaluation and learning reports were published - you can download the interim report from this page or click here to visit the DECC website and download all five.