LIFE LOOP – Local Ownership Of Power

We support cities and citizens in creating their energy community.

Behind LIFE LOOP lies an incredibly skilled and committed multi-national team of over 30 people. We come from 8 countries and combine knowledge from different strands: energy cooperatives and cities, with expertise in the topic both on EU and local levels. It’s this diversity that helps us foster powerful city-citizen connections and turn collective ideas into lasting impacts. LIFE LOOP is coordinated by Energy Cities which is backed by the management group composed of, ZEZ and Electra Energy cooperative. Local and national on-the-ground action is driven by 6 cities and 5 energy cooperatives.

Zagreb, Croatia

Zagreb, Croatia

Bistrita, Romania

Bistrita, Romania

Crete, Greece

Crete, Greece

LIFE LOOP will first take shape in three pilot areas: Zagreb, Bistrita and the island of Crete will roll out local campaigns to raise awareness and mobilise citizens for the generation of community-owned energy.


In Zagreb, the planned activities are about integrating community energy into the municipality’s new program to support the installation of solar panels on the roofs of public buildings, local homes, multi-apartment buildings and business roofs. All in all, the Croatian capital plans to increase the installed capacity from the current 700 kilowatts (kW) to 50 megawatts (MW) by 2024.

Key local partner: Energy cooperative ZEZ


On the island of Crete, many exciting projects are planned during the LIFE LOOP implementation:

Establishment of a Just transition knowledge hub – Crete will serve as a hub, engaging and inspiring
municipalities to maximise opportunities for community energy focusing on:
• Increasing awareness to address the often negative public opinion on the development of RES
projects (particularly wind farms).
• establishing general rules for municipal or regional spatial planning, integrating community
energy parameters (RES potential, environmental and cultural impacts, existing human
• Introducing the process of energy transition project development (energy transition plans,
design and planning of projects, funding seeking).
• Addressing challenges associated with social inclusion and social justice, focussing on gender
equality, energy poverty and integration of excluded groups.

Implementation of a new 4-pillar community energy pilot project which will combine RES production,
energy saving, smart grid strategies and e-mobility. This includes:
1) Energy upgrade of at least one municipal facility, school and/or a sports centre.
2) Integrating e-mobility into the municipal fleet (installation of charging stations, procurement of
3) A smart grid integrating the energy upgraded municipal assets, energy management,
decentralized storage and production etc
4) A new solar pv station to enable selected municipal assets to achieve 100% clean energy.

Key local partner: Minoan Energy Community


In the Romanian city of Bistrita, community energy will kick-off through LIFE LOOP as:
• Citizens will be encouraged to invest in the installation of photovoltaic panels on 50 blocks of flats (private and social) – this will cover the electricity needs of the common areas of the multi-dwelling buildings;
• Community solar thermal and PV panels to be installed on 15 public buildings and educational units. This will meet the electricity and thermal energy needs for heating and hot water;
• Community investment in the installation of solar thermal and PV on 100 houses;

Key local partner: Cooperativa de Energie

The three pilots will share their experience with Gabrovo in Bulgaria, Ussaramanna and Villanovaforru in Italy, Nicosia in Cyprus and Tulcea in Romania. Those “satellites” will closely follow the pilot activities and will be supported in setting their own community energy targets and making own projects come true. And as we want to spread the energy community fever, we’ll work with associated partners in Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia, Kosovo and North Macedonia.


Do you want to launch a city-citizen partnership in your own area or share experience or tools on community energy with others? Drop a line.