Community Energy provides environmental, social and financial benefits to communities. However, there is currently no sector-wide standardised M&E tool that enables groups to accurately and comprehensively monitor and evaluate these benefits.

Having a standardised monitoring and evaluation (M&E) process and methodology allows groups to have a greater impact in lobbying government, securing finance, promoting their activities in their own communities, tracking their internal development and planning for the future.

In August 2017, Pure Leapfrog, in conjunction with SELCE, CEE and BSC produced a report in August examining this lack of a M&E tool. We are now in the process of developing that tool in conjunction with SELCE and with very generous support from Friends Provident Foundation. On the 1st of December we held a workshop for community groups to help with its development and to ensure that the tool meets the diverse needs of the sector.

25 people from community energy groups throughout the country attended the all day workshop. The attendees were divided for most of the day into three groups, Environmental, Social and Financial, to discuss the different indicators and outcomes associated with each of these themes.

The Social group spent a lot of time getting into where the edges were of what is possible to attribute to community energy and what is not. The Financial group got down into the details of what exactly you need to ask for from groups and what you need to account for in thinking about the different types of projects that are out there. The environmental group focused on the varied environmental outcomes from the different types of technologies groups use.

We are currently updating the draft tools on the basis of all the feedback from the workshop and we will be providing updates as development on the tool progresses. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that came to the workshop for your valuable contributions and for everyone else who was involved in the organisation and running of the workshop.

If anyone from a community group is interested in being kept in touch with the development of the tool, please do get in touch at [email protected]