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Description of what the network is about is the European federation of citizen energy cooperatives. It's a growing network of 1.900 cooperatives operating across Europe and jointly represent over 1,25 million citizens. was legally set up in 2013 as a Belgian not-for-profit association. It operates just like a cooperative. The network’s Board of Directors is elected by the General Assembly for 4-year terms.

Cooperatives Europe is a sector federation of Cooperatives Europe, the European branch of the International Cooperative Alliance. Cooperatives Europe represents the voice of 160,000 cooperative enterprises in Europe and their 123 million members. holds a seat in the board of Cooperatives Europe.

Societal problem they want to address

Unsustainable energy system in Europe.

Societal domain


Basic aim of network

Through, energy cooperatives wish to make their voices heard in the European energy debate. After all, their members – everyday citizens - are the ones who will be paying for the transition to a more sustainable energy system. empowers citizens and cooperatives and wants to achieve energy democracy.

The federation has four well-defined objectives:

  • It represents the voice of citizens and energy cooperatives to European policy makers
  • It supports starting and established energy cooperatives and provides them with tools and contacts to help them grow and prosper
  • It facilitates international exchanges and cooperation between energy cooperatives
  • It promotes the cooperative business model in the energy sector


What is a REScoop?

REScoops are energy cooperatives, a business model where citizens jointly own and participate in renewable energy or energy efficiency projects. We also refer to REScoops as citizen or renewable energy communities. REScoops do not necessarily have the legal statute of a cooperative, but they distinguish themselves by the way they do business.

They typically respect 7 principles outlined by the International Cooperative Alliance, which is why we strongly believe that REScoops are leading the energy transition to energy democracy. The principles are:

  • Voluntary and Open Membership
  • Democratic Member Control
  • Economic Participation through Direct Ownership
  • Autonomy and Independence
  • Education, Training and Information
  • Cooperation among Cooperatives
  • Concern for Community

All citizens are eligible to join a REScoop. After purchasing a cooperative share and becoming a member or co-owner of local renewable energy or energy efficiency projects, members share in the profits and are usually given the opportunity to buy the electricity at a fair price. In addition, members can actively participate in the cooperative: They can decide where the REScoop should invest, and are consulted when setting the energy price.


The REScoop model has many advantages. The most important ones are listed below.

  • REScoops keep money in the local economy. REScoops use local energy sources and include local citizens. This way, they keep money within the local community that would otherwise flow out to external investors. In addition, REScoops stimulate local employment and boost the local economy.
  • REScoops foster social acceptance for renewable energy. Local opposition to renewable energy projects (typically wind turbines) decreases when citizens are given the opportunity to invest in and co-own the production installations. This is especially true when local citizens are involved from the very start of the project, share in the profits, and have access to clean energy at a fair price.
  • REScoops keep the individual investment affordable. Not everyone has a roof suitable for solar panels, nor does everyone have the financial capacity to make such an investment. REScoop production installations are typically owned by a large group of citizens, keeping the individual investment affordable.
  • REScoops benefit the local community. REScoops have a clear concern for the community. They usually share part of the profits with their members and use the rest to develop new projects or benefit the local community as a whole. Some REScoops for example have financed the construction of a local sustainable concert hall, while others built a charging point for electric bicycles. This way, all citizens benefit from the projects and the profits that the REScoops generate.
  • REScoops take action on energy. The revenues that result from renewable energy projects are often used to finance energy efficiency measures in public buildings. Some REScoops have paid for insulation material for public buildings, while others pay the wage of a local energy expert who helps citizens and the local municipality improve their overall energy efficiency.


REScoops look into all aspects of the energy transition including electricity (production, supply, grid management, etc.), energy savings, heating & cooling and transportation. All across Europe, citizens are taking action, and many have recognised the importance of teaming up with their municipalities.

  • Collaboration with municipalities
  • Energy efficiency
  • Citizen-led renovation
  • E-Mobility
  • Flexibility

For more information

Entry done by

Aleksi Salmela