The H2020 project EC² will gather empirical evidence on how the set-up of energy communities fosters or hinders energy citizenship. EC² stands for Energy Citizenship and Energy Communities for a Clean Energy Transition.

Based on an inter- and transdisciplinary conceptualization of energy citizenship, EC² deliberates economic trends, identifies economic conditions, business model innovations, public support policies and legal regulations that are needed for the emergence of energy citizenship and its potential contribution to the low-carbon energy transition. EC² will in particular focus on energy communities as emerging entities within the energy sector and as potentially key actors to promote energy citizenship.

The objective is to gather empirical evidence on how the framework and the set-up of energy communities foster or hinder energy citizenship and its conduciveness for broader policy goals and under which circumstances energy communities and energy citizens benefit most from each other. To this end, EC² will develop a scale to quantitatively assess the psychological manifestation of energy citizenship within individuals. The team will study the complex relationships between the legal frameworks, the economic structures, and the psychological set-ups of energy communities and their surrounding societies, on the one hand, and energy citizenship, on the other. To identify causal relationships, EC² will undertake experimental lab studies, in addition to broader field studies. Based on these insights, the team will develop and empirically test recommendations and tools to overcome barriers and facilitate the scaling up of energy citizenship and energy communities.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101022565.


  • Coordination: Zentrum für Soziale Innovation (Wien)
  • Lead University of Graz: Katja Corcoran
  • Duration: 01.05.2021 – 30.04.2024

Project Partners:

Arterra BizimoduBuurkracht Projecten B.V.Comune di ScalengheGlobal Ecovillage Network of EuropeGmina PrusiceHousing Cooperative Wrocław SouthICLEI Local Governments for SustainabilityMunicipality of GroningenTure Nirvane Societa’ Cooperativa Sociale di Comunita’University of GrazUniversity of GroningenUniversity of LeipzigUniwersytet Ekonomiczny we Wrocławiu.


Project Updates


How can we support the clean-energy transition? Can energy citizenship and energy communities be part of the solution? The Horizon2020 project “EC² – Energy Citizenship and Energy Communities for a Clean-Energy Transition” is gathering insights from the fields of law, economics, and psychology to answer how energy citizenship and energy communities can support the EU in meeting its energy source and decarbonization goals. The EC² team includes local energy communities and municipalities

The team of work package 2, called “Energy citizenship: Interdisciplinary conceptualization and psychological measurement” is meeting biweekly. The teams of the University of Leipzig, the University of Graz, the Uniwersytet Ekonomiczny we Wrocławiu, and the University of Groningen are developing a working definition of “energy communities” and “energy citizenship”. These definitions will include insights from law, economy, and psychology.

The legal team at the University of Graz is also focusing on the tasks from work package 3: “The law and economics of energy communities and energy citizenship“. This work package aims to identify potential legal and economic barriers and facilitators for the emergence of energy communities and energy citizenship. The legal team is led by Professor Iris Eisenberger (public law) and Professor Brigitta Lurger (civil law).

The next goal of the legal team is to provide a comparative understanding of the legal framework for energy communicates and energy citizenship in selected member states. Our team is currently preparing country reports for Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, and Poland.

The results of these country reports will be combined with the results from the economic team and further refined in a series of co-creation workshops. The workshops will be held in Groningen (NL), Prusice (PL), Arterra Bizimodu (ES) and Scalenghe (IT).

If you would like to know more about the EC² project, visit our website: and register for the newsletter.

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