Community Energy Tools and Resources

From Open Energy Information

The Community Energy Tools and Resources wiki provides access to articles about tools and resources for community energy planning and transformation. These tools were selected for inclusion in the wiki by a variety of subject matter experts at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). For the purposes of this wiki, communities are defined as entities such as towns, cities, counties, multiple-city/county regions, and tribes. This page is designed to help you search for articles about community energy tools, which include case studies/examples, lessons learned/best practices, guides/manuals, publications, templates, datasets, modeling tools, and online calculators.

Phases and Steps of Community Energy Planning and Transformation

Developing and achieving community energy goals is a process. That process is ultimately up to the community. Through their experience working with communities, NREL subject matter experts identified some common phases and steps in the community energy planning and transformation process (see below). Some tools in the Community Energy Tools and Resources wiki may inform a certain phase of planning and transformation, while others may apply to numerous phases and steps.

Click the arrow to the right of each phase for a brief description and the steps involved. Search for tools related to particular phases or topic areas by clicking the checkboxes to the left of the phase or topic are you're interested in. Applicable tools will appear in the box to the right. You can narrow your search by selecting multiple phases or topic areas.

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Topic Areas

The topics below describe specific subjects that may need to be addressed as part of a community’s energy planning and transformation process. Click the arrow to the right of each topic area for a brief description.

People and Policy

Economic Development

Energy Efficiency



Water Conservation

Renewable Energy


Grid Assessment and Integration

Non-renewable Energy

Greenhouse Gas

Offsets and Certificates