We’re big fans of intergenerational approaches at Younity - to truly harness community energy’s potential, we need to mobilise all ages:
- Younger audiences that spark energy, fresh perspectives and succession alongside,
- Those who offer invaluable knowledge and who laid the movement's foundations
However, a balanced blend of ages means tapping into the value of young minds.
So, how can community energy groups engage and integrate young people? There are many ways! Here are a few actionable ideas:
- Recruit a board director, under the age of 30
- Channel the profits made from renewable generation into upskilling and education
- Invite youth groups to your events, board meetings and AGM's - to participate and provide new perspectives
- Meet them where they are - attend a youth climate group’s open day
Good news is many groups are doing this already! So, if you're part of a group and need some inspiration or are a young person yourself, check out the wonderful case studies below.
Burnham and Weston Energy - Hosted the first Community Energy Youth Summit
- In April 2023, BWE joined forces with Weston College to host the first ever youth summit in community energy!
- The day involved talks, workshops and networking with a variety of community-led organisations
- They engaged 150 students aged 16+
Westmill Sustainable Energy Trust - School education
- Intrinsic to their mission, WESET are dedicated towards educating young people on energy (how it works, it's importance and how communities can hold the power)
- They activate this through school visits, wind/solar site tours and educational packs for teachers and parents
Energy Garden - AQA Accredited Youth Training Programme
- The profits from energy generated on the roof of London's train stations are invested into giving 18-24 year olds an AQA accredited, London-living wage training programme
- This covers learning about local business models, making solar panels, horticulture, energy efficiency and much more!
Youth EmPowered - a dedicated youth community energy group
- Set out to empower young people to become directors in community energy, 70% of their directors are under 30
- As a new group, they are evolving into a safe space for young people in the movement alongside owning renewable generation and investing the profits back into the community
So, from learning about community energy at primary school - to becoming a director of a group, young people have a clear place in community energy!