A range of partnerships

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Carbon Co-op’s activities are fairly narrow and targeted, specifically around energy efficiency and whole house retrofit, and as a consequence they have found that they need to work with other organisations and partners to be effective. They work with a wide range of other community and voluntary sector organisations which enables them to reach a wider audience and share effort and resources. Community media is particularly effective and they often visit community radio stations or write articles for blogs. Collaborations with local authorities have also been particularly useful. Due to budget cuts, Councils are increasingly limited in the scope and scale of what they can achieve. Many officers and Councillors are happy to work in collaboration with a community energy organisation that can be more flexible and access a wider range of funding than a statutory organisation. They have found that with all their all partnerships, careful discussion is required between the parties to understand shared priorities and identify areas for collaborations and to avoid misunderstandings or unnecessary duplication of activities. This approach reflects the sixth co-operative principle around networking and collaboration, which they are bound by as a Community Benefit Society.