Find out more about energy democracy on connects different groups over the world fighting for energy democracy.

"From energy access to climate justice and from anti-privatisation to workers’ rights, people across the world are taking back power over the energy sector, kicking-back against the rule of the market and reimagining how energy might be produced, distributed and used. For many movements involved in struggles around energy, the concept of energy democracy is proving increasingly useful as a means of bringing together disparate but clearly linked causes under a shared discourse and, possibly, something of a common agenda.

How are people across the world taking back power over the energy sector, kicking-back against the rule of the market and reimagining how energy might be produced, distributed and used? How can the concept of energy democracy be deployed to demand a socially just energy system, with universal access, fair prices and secure, unionised and well-paid jobs?

Activists, researchers and practitioners gathered to discuss these issues at an international workshop on energy democracy held in Amsterdam in February 2016. The workshop was organised by the Transnational Institute, in partnership with Global Justice Now, the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation Brussels Office, Platform London, Switched on London, Berlin Energy Roundtable, the Alternative Information and Development Centre, Public Services International, and the Trade Unions for Energy Democracy initiative. One of the outcomes of this workshop was to develop a collective energy democracy website into a virtual resource centre and meeting place for exchanging experiences, debate and strategies."



History of the Berliner Energietisch

History   Logbook   Seven good Reasons   Articles

The Berliner Energietisch, roughly translated as Berlin Energy Roundtable, was founded in 2011 and is an alliance of around 56 local civil society groups. Moreover it is the initiator of an impressive big campaign in which Berlin's citizens were asked to ‘reclaim’ Berlin's power.
The Berliner Energietisch is a broad social alliance and a socio-ecological movement of local Berlin initiatives and organizations and many dedicated citizens. The non-party alliance sees itself as an open platform. Currently 56 local civil society groups joined the coalition. These alliance partners range from large organizations to small initiatives from across the social and environmental movements to activist networks. Church groups, welfare and tenant counselling organizations as well as cultural associations could be found in the alliance as well as the usual suspects from the environmental and social association.
The overall aim was the establishment of a more ecological, social and democratic energy supply in Germany’s capital. Therefore the Berliner Energietisch draft law was put up to vote in November 2013. 600.000 Berliners voted in favour of the initiatives idea. But it failed due to a Berlin-specific barrier – a 25- per cent quorum. This means that a valid referendum is just achieved when at least 25 per cent of Berlin's electorate say ‘yes’. So although more than 80 per cent voted with ‘yes’ the referendum failed. . In the end only 21.000 votes were missing.
Nevertheless the Berliners have set a clear signal towards a public owned energy supply and this could not be neglected, neither by Berlin's federal state government nor by referendum opponents.
The Berliner Energietisch is still active and constructively supervises the energy policy of the Berlin federal state government.

Logbook of the campaign
In the following you can see several milestones of the Berliner Energietisch history.



 10/2011 - 01/2012










Seven good Reasons
…for a community-owned energy supply

Basic necessities should belong to the public
The power supply is important to everyone in Berlin. In the hands of large corporations, it is managed to maximize profit rather than to serve the needs of Berlin’s citizens.
2100 percent green energy
The days of coal and nuclear power are over! The Berlin municipal power company will rely on decentralized renewable energy plants in the Berlin-Brandenburg region. The goal is to provide you with 100 percent real green power.

3Profits stay in Berlin
The grid buyback is worth it! Berlin will benefit from a secure source of income over the long term, and the profits will stay in our region, rather than enriching Vattenfall’s corporate headquarters.

4Democratic control of the energy supply
The citizens of Berlin will be able to participate in the shaping of their energy supply. Berlin voters will directly elect some members of the power company’s Board of Directors, and citizen initiatives and other mechanisms will allow Berliners to directly participate in and influence power company policies.
5Reducing energy consumption
Energy conservation and efficiency can make an important contribution to climate protection. Berlin’s municipal power company will support this goal, which will also lead to lower energy bills.


A socially responsible energy transition
Our municipal utilities will provide a socially responsible transition to low-carbon energy. Low-income households will receive targeted energy-saving advice and will receive support to purchase energy-saving household appliances. Energetic modernization of buildings should not overburden low-income households.

7Transparency instead of secret treaties
The municipal utility and grid company will operate under clear rules for transparency. Important documents will be published on the Internet, allowing citizens the opportunity to examine company policies. This will help make the pricing of electricity rates clear and understandable.



october 30, 2013: "John Riceburg: Power to the people!" -

june 13, 2013: "Berlin and Hamburg Referenda to Reverse Electricity Grid Privatization" - truth out

march 05, 2013: "Big Energy Battle: An Unlikely Effort to Buy Berlin's Grid" - spiegel online international

march 17, 2013: "Referendum movement in Berlin aims to democratize entire energy sector" - democracy at work

april 16, 2013: "Gaining public ownership of electricity in Berlin" - The Municipal Services Project