Community Energy Planning: Best Practices and Lessons Learned in NREL's Work with Communities

Research output: NRELPresentation


The clean energy transition is accelerating due to local, state, and national actions combined with external market forces. Regardless of where goals are set and decisions are made, clean energy deployment occurs on the ground in communities. As a result, communities increasingly need technical expertise and assistance with planning for and managing the energy transition. Building on decades of work with state, local, and tribal jurisdictions, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) increasingly provides community-driven modeling, analysis, and technical assistance to enable more data-driven and equitable community energy planning. To inform and enhance NREL's capabilities in community energy planning and provide a resource for others working in this space, the Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis (JISEA) Sustainable Communities Catalyzer supported this best-practices presentation based on interviews with seasoned NREL practitioners and a literature review on equitable community energy planning. Findings include five best practices for community energy planning that NREL practitioners and others can apply to strengthen their impact: 1) do your homework in preparation for community interactions; 2) be humble, authentic, and honest in your interactions with community members; 3) respect community agency in every step of the process; 4) meet the community where they are; 5) democratize participation.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages30
StatePublished - 2022

Publication series

NameWebinar presented 6 September 2022

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-6A50-83846


  • best practices
  • community
  • energy planning
  • equitable
  • technical assistance


Dive into the research topics of 'Community Energy Planning: Best Practices and Lessons Learned in NREL's Work with Communities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this