The “Guide to developing Local Energy Plans” , produced by Local Energy Scotland within the COBEN project, provides a tested methodology supported by an on-line toolkit for the development of local energy plans. It has been developed in consultation with key stakeholders across the Highlands and Islands and Scotland. The guide sets out a consistent approach to data collection and energy plan development for communities, local authorities and other stakeholders to work with and that can promote a shift in energy value chains to the community domain and that is set within the context of the Scottish Government’s Energy Strategy.

As part of the implementation of the local energy plan for Oban, two free Driving Smarter Energy events bring together a range of specialists and pioneers to help organisations and individuals make smart energy choices.

On Friday 10 May, 12 - 4pm, businesses and community organisations can explore energy efficiency and sustainable transport, hear from a range of speakers and find out about support available.

The Saturday event on 11 May, 10am - 4pm is for anyone who is considering switching to home renewables, improving their home’s energy efficiency, using an Electric Vehicle (EV), or learning about active travel, with on-the-day test drives available in EVs and ebikes. Advisors will be on hand to give free, impartial advice on EVs and energy efficiency. It will be a great day for all the family, with activities for children too!


Ross Jones of Local Energy Scotland featured the four COBEN pilots in the Highlands & Islands at this year’s national CARES conference in Glasgow. The conference, supported by Scottish Government, focussed on local ownership and community involvement in local energy systems.

Official agenda (PDF, 371 kB)

Official artical on Local Energy Scotland.

Local Energy Scotland is leading a Scottish pilot to develop and implement local energy plans for four local communities. The plans developed for Brae, Drumnadrochit, Barra & Vatersay and Oban have now been published. The plans provide an evidence base to take forward energy related actions and projects with a community and energy system mandate. A short summary and the full plan for each of the locations is available through our website.

Project focus

The Energy Saving Trust will lead the Scottish pilot which aims to evolve the support for community energy to move from a focus on electricity generation supported by subsidies to a more whole system approach where communities’ energy generation, energy efficiency, heat, storage and future usage needs are considered together.

The pilot will develop energy plans for 4 local areas in the Highland and Islands facing different local energy challenges. The plans will bring together the best data on energy supply and use to develop a coordinated area based approach and enable communities to have their voices heard in the processes by which energy projects are planned within their local areas.

Select recommendations from the energy plans will be implemented with the lessons learned being used to develop a common process and methodology for how local energy planning should be carried out at the sub local authority level.

In addition to communities this project will be developed in close cooperation with key national and regional planning/energy policy officials throughout including the district network operator, transport officials and representatives from Scotland’s energy efficiency programme.

Additional resources such as local energy planning templates, business models and IT toolkits will be produced by The Energy Saving Trust to ensure the necessary infrastructure is in place to facilitate the normalization of the local energy planning approach across the Highland and Islands region



Civic benefits

4 communities in the Highlands and Islands region of Scotland will benefit directly from this pilot. The impact of the local energy plans will be measured in terms of economic, social, direct, indirect and strategic benefits.

The pilot is one of a number of approaches that supports the Scottish Government’s commitment to develop strategic approaches based on locally distinctive needs, opportunity and priorities.