Energy Publics: mapping public participation in Bristol's energy transition 

Dr Jake Barnes 

Researcher in Low Carbon Heat Policy 

Oxford University

It is increasingly recognised that the process of transforming the UK energy system will require the increased engagement and involvement of 'the public’. Contemporary public participation in energy system includes the use of consultations, opinion polls, public demonstrations, lobbying, the co-design of energy technologies, maker spaces, smart technology trails, community energy schemes and so on. Subsequently, contemporary participation is diverse, making it hard to pin down, understand or locate. 


This project will help to address this gap by mapping energy participation in the West of England area between 2015-17, and then analysing the resulting data using a whole-systems approach. The results will help inform future public engagement work in energy and help foster more responsive forms of local energy governance.

Fuel Stories: a community energy engagement model 

Dr Elaine Forde

Lecturer at the Morgan Academy

Swansea University

This project develops a model for community engagement that seeks to involve marginal or disadvantaged groups in locally-owned community energy projects. Community energy projects are more readily adopted in affluent communities, yet this form of decentralised energy generation will be a key component of supplying energy in the future. 

The project will run a series of engagement workshops in some of the most disadvantaged areas in Bristol to encourage people to talk about their relationship to energy and to share their own 'fuel stories'. The engagement workshops will use visual elicitation techniques with the aim of creating an expressive space where people can reflect on how energy has shaped their lives.

Centre for Sustainable Energy 

St James Court, St James Parade, Bristol, BS1 3LH 0117 934 1400 | Reg Charity 298740 

BSERF is managed by the Centre for Sustainable Energy and funded by Bristol Energy Cooperative and the Centre for Sustainable Energy.