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This work was funded by the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) as part of the Neighbourhood Battery Initiative (NBI)

This section provides more detailed advice about engagement, including with partners, contributors, stakeholders and community members. It may be particularly useful for groups that don’t have expertise or experience in community engagement. 

We discuss different contexts of engagement (meetings, informal engagement, ongoing communication, and planned activities and events), engagement planning, advice for conducting engagement and evaluation and learning.

We can understand engagement as all about maintaining relationships. Whether you are a business engaging with customers, a Council engaging with residents, or a community group or member engaging with your neighbours, the basic things that make a good relationship are relevant to your engagement efforts.

These include:

Letting people know what you’re planning is a critical part of your engagement, but engagement goes beyond providing information and gauging sentiment, it also means explaining, listening and adjusting your decisions and actions in response to people’s concerns. Some decisions may be out of your hands, and you should let people know that. But if your engagement plan is all about bringing people on board, without letting them influence the project in substantive ways, then it’s not really engagement, and it may cause more resistance than support.

Community members are the ultimate beneficiaries of the energy system. They therefore have a right to have a say when energy infrastructure brings changes to their lives. Moreover, in pragmatic terms, community members’ support can be critical to the success of projects, and to the successful roll-out of neighbourhood batteries more broadly.

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