What are SCCALE 20 30 50 pilots up to? We spoke with Quentin Geraud, project manager for Les Économes, about how they keep members motivated and promote a good atmosphere in their community.
Up to now what has been the most challenging part of your project? How have you dealt with it?
The main challenge has been, and still is, how to keep our team motivated. We’ve seen a lot of volunteers come and go, and only a very small core of people have stayed on since the start of the project in January 2022. To make up for this, we concentrated from the beginning on completing one task: creating our serious game (the Milwatteur). This has enabled us to focus our efforts on a very specific goal and increase motivation. We also try to organise informal gatherings and maintain a relaxed atmosphere within the group.
Has being part of the SCCALE project helped in any way?
Being part of the SCCALE consortium and exchanging ideas with the other pilots make us feel less alone: we are confronted with similar problems! SCCALE partners also provided us with concrete ideas for actions. For example the Dutch pilot inspired us with their energy-themed parties.
What has been the most important moment for your pilot so far?
The turning point for us was definitely the finalisation of the Milwatteur game! It was the culmination of a lot of thought, discussion and work done together with the collective. It also gave us the opportunity to run events and reach out to the general public. For this game we readapted the concept of a famous French game called “Mille Bornes”: you must achieve a certain number of energy savings to win the game. Unexpected events can prevent you from progressing: a harsh winter, a heatwave or even a broken fridge can block you for several turns, until you draw the right parry.
How close are you to reach your project’s goals?
We aimed at creating a collective citizen group taking action for energy savings and raising awareness about energy sufficiency, and we managed to do that. At the moment we can’t estimate how much energy was saved as a consequence of our activities – it would require a lot of time and resources we currently don’t have. But we are working towards our last goal of organising collecitve energy purchase actions – we aim to do that in 2024.
How are you contributing to the development of new projects/energy communities?
We are currently supporting 3 citizen groups to set up their projects. We share the experience of the Économes and give advice on possible solutions and best practices. Now that our group is up and running, I’ve also had the opportunity to present it to various local energy stakeholders. We’ve also set up a website and an email adress – to provide information about the Économes and be able to answer questions.
What is the next step for your project?
It is time for us to look at the financial sustainability of our pilot. We are thinking about possible business models that would allow us to keep raising awareness and educate people on energy saving and sufficiency.
You want to start an energy community but don’t know where to begin? Express your interest in SCCALE 20 30 50 Helpdesk
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