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Low Carbon Communities

Low Carbon Communities

Imaginative Approaches to Combating Climate Change Locally

Edited by Michael Peters, Shane Fudge and Tim Jackson

Community action is a vital strategy in the fight against climate change and has increasingly informed government policy, academic inquiry and grassroots action since the start of this century. This timely and engaging volume explores both the promise of community-based action in tackling climate change and some of its limitations.

Chapter 13: Energy Conscious Households in Action (ECHO Action)

Elliot Bushay

Subjects: environment, climate change, environmental geography, environmental sociology, geography, human geography, politics and public policy, public policy


Elliot Bushay INTRODUCTION ECHO Action was a two and a half year project part-funded through the European Union under the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme. It aimed to bring about direct involvement on a European scale of 2000 households in an active process of turning lifestyles and energy consumption patterns towards a model of sustainability. The programme was designed to help improve market conditions in support of renewable and energy efficient technologies across Europe, consistent with EU energy and climate change policy (EU, 2007a, b) through cutting greenhouse gas emissions and, in particular, reducing energy use from domestic household activity. ECHO Action was run simultaneously in nine cities across seven European countries (Italy, UK, Sweden, Germany, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Portugal) between November 2006 and April 2009. The project was facilitated by local energy agencies in each city contributing to a network of partner organizations that developed local activities within the ECHO Action framework according to national and local energy policies and frameworks. The contribution from a diverse range of households, organizations and local authorities served to facilitate and initiate unique interactions on a broad scale, which led to important experience sharing and learning. The ECHO Action project represents a bottom-up approach to addressing climate change issues at the community level, through focusing on households taking part in working groups and their attempts to realize a more responsible and sustainable use of energy and resources whilst travelling along a common path to change. An important feature for a project of this type...

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