"The consumer cooperative model allows us to articulate energy management from an approach that responds to the satisfaction of needs."
That the current energy model based on fossil fuels is unsustainable and needs to be reversed is the order of the day. Nor does it occur to us again to affirm that the energy transition towards a transformative model is essential to be linked to a broad ecosocial transition. In fact, in Catalonia and Spain, there is already an extensive network of consumer cooperatives, located within the umbrella of the Social and Solidarity Economy, overturned in working for a real economic and social model transition.
Som Energia is one of the cooperatives of energy consumers involved in this change; a community of almost 85,000 people and partner entities with the commitment to get involved in the transition towards a transformative energy model, 100% renewable, and in the hands of citizens. How can we ensure that this transition is truly in their hands? An ambitious challenge, right?
A transformative energy transition requires citizens to be informed and positioned regarding the processes of energy production, distribution and consumption. Starting, moreover, from the fact that energy must be understood and treated as a basic good and not as a commodity through which to profit.
The consumer cooperative model allows us to articulate energy management from an approach that responds to the satisfaction of needs. And it allows us to do it by articulating the management of the common good from a cooperative point of view, in order to do it non-profit, with debate and participatory and transparent decision-making, giving accounts on a regular basis and taking charge of the commitment that we have towards the community and the territories. All this in a market that tends to be opaque, dominated by the interests of the oligopoly and difficult to understand.
So, a consumer cooperative like Som Energia, in an environment as complex as the energy sector, requires informed and qualified participation, since it is key when making decisions about the direction of the cooperative and how we want to impact in our environment. That is why training is crucial, not only to convey the training rights of the members of the cooperative (as indicated by the cooperative principles), but to facilitate that all the members have the necessary information and essential knowledge to participate in the decision-making spaces of the cooperative, be part of the governing bodies or simply maintain a constant dialogue that allows us to respond to the emerging elements of the moment. For this reason, from Som Energia, we promote throughout the year various training aimed at both the corporate base and the general public.
We understand training not only as a tool to spread knowledge, but also as another space in the cooperative to link the political and social spheres and the technical and economic management staff of the cooperative. At the same time, it helps foster a critical spirit and create a network between the members of the cooperative as well as the environment.
The approach of these training spaces is based on eco-social transition, linked to the energy model, but they also want to facilitate the understanding of the consumer cooperative model, the different ways to participate in it, deepening about ecofeminism, masculinities various or build, together, discourse around degrowth in its broader version.