I would like to tell you about a positive local collaboration between, amongst others, Dorset, and Brittany in France, that has been going on since May 2011!

I met up with the SEACS (Sustainable Energy Across the Common Space) partnership of local councils on both sides of the Channel, in St Brieuc France, earlier this January to finalise their work on energy saving initiatives.

Tackling the Energy Challenge Together!

This is the vision of the £2million EU-funded project, called Sustainable Energy Across the Common Space, bringing together three UK local authorities; Devon County Council, Dorset County Council and Wiltshire Council, along with two French local authorities in Brittany; Conseil Général des Côtes d’Armor and Lannion-Trégor Agglomération.

The aim of the project is to create opportunities to reduce energy demand, implement energy efficiency measures and use clean renewable energies. The project has raised awareness on the importance of acting now on climate and energy issues and encourage people to change attitudes and behaviours towards energy usage for the long term.

Energy at home, at school, at work

The project is assisting individuals, households, communities, schools (including several schools here in Dorset) and local authority buildings to change their behaviour towards energy usage, implement sustainable energy measures and therefore reduce their energy demand.

The project focused on “Working with People and Communities” and “Working with Schools and Public Buildings”. Through the project the partners has reached around 100 households, 15 community groups around 50 schools and public buildings and to directly involve them in energy action planning.

After 2 days of meeting, the partners managed to review the many different case studies carried out by the partners within the project, to gather the information which will be fed into a toolbox and to discuss potential future collaboration projects.

The toolbox will give information about the all different stages of the initiative, the aim is to serve as a help guide for other authorities wishing to replicate one of the initiatives.

The presentation of the SEACS project will be held in Exeter in the end of March 2014.

Read more about this extraordinary collaboration at: www.seacs.info