Energy Communities are not primarily run for profit as they aim to achieve other objectives. However, they must guarantee their shareholders a return of their investment. This remuneration could derive from: benefit from cheaper energy supply, sale of surplus generation, self-consumption increases and thereby reduction of power grid dependency. In fact, the return on investment is one of the most important determinants for Community members to take part in the initiatives.
However, an Energy Community provides also “energy awareness” services to the individual prosumers. This is a cornerstone concept of a Citizen Energy Community. The energy-related services that communities initially offer to their members are typically related to exploring the potential of Distributed Energy Resources e.g. focusing on the joint purchase and maintenance of (shared) assets. It may be, though, that the first step is a simple focus on increasing energy awareness e.g. by providing energy diagnosis, energy consumption monitoring or by stimulating knowledge acquisition and exchange through dedicated workshops and training programs. Both improved energy awareness and social peer pressure help stimulate energy savings and increasing energy efficiency and thus, are contributing to the optimisation of the communities´performance.