"Centrales Villageoises" : local citizen-owned energy communities

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Our identity and historical background

"Centrales Villageoises" are local companies whose shareholders are mainly citizens, local municipalities and local companies. Their aim is to develop renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, at a territorial scale, taking into consideration the local stakes (integration into landscape, economic local development, social link, etc.)

The "Centrales Villageoises" local companies all abide by a charter which relies on the following statements :

  • their governance is mainly driven by citizens
  • they forge direct links with local municipalities and their activities are consistent with the local public policies
  • they generate local benefits and contribute to the development of their territory
  • they use a shared approach with common tools and services, they also share their experience to improve collectively the network's technical resources
  • they behave in a supportive way and bring assistance to each other

The "Centrales Villageoises" concept was born in 2010 and originates from an experimental project which was launched by AURA-EE (regional energy agency in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (AURA)) and 5 natural regional Parks, thanks to European and regional funds. From 2010 to 2014, the experimentation was piloted on 8 pilot sites and progressively led to the elaboration of local citizen-owned companies which developed and financed some first photovoltaic plants. The entire technical and legal framework was then consolidated and enabled the concept to be replicated on other sites. The model of "Centrales Villageoises" quickly spread all over the AURA region but also in other regions.

In 2018 a national association was created to continue developing the network.



The national association

Since 2018, an association gathers all Centrales Villageoises local companies and their partners.

The main objectives are :

  • to communicate the model and publicize it on a national level
  • to continue developing common tools and services for the citizens, and to strengthen the capitalisation of their on-the-ground experience
  • to make projects more and more professional, keeping high-quality standards using the guidelines which are proposed and trying to foster the creation of shared employment between local companies
  • to accompany innovative projects, to evolve the model on the legal, ecoomic or technical aspects

The status of the association include 4 electoral colleges :

  • Centrales Villageoises local companies (college with the strongest voting weight)
  • Municipalities
  • Private bodies
  • Founders

A "commitment committee" is in charge of evaluating new citizen groups who want to join the network, according to the Charter prerequisites.

A "scientific and technical committee" (not existing yet) is also planned in the status to guide the administrators in their choices.

The human resources are based on one employee, in charge of the coordination of the network, and additionnal support from AURA-EE, defined through a partnership agreement. The financial resources come from public and private funds.

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Main figures (december 2023)






  For any question, please contact us to : association(@)centralesvillageoises.fr

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