Frequently asked questions

1. What is LETIT?
LETIT is a process involving 6 key steps. The process starts with engaging stakeholders and identifying local assets, and then moves on to identifying and assessing local sustainable energy opportunities. It culminates in the development of an action plan for the most favourable projects selected within the process.

The toolkit is an electronic guide that has been developed to support you through the LETIT process. As well as guidance on each LETIT step, it also provides a range of tools to support you during each step.

2. What are the benefits of using LETIT?
Most local authorities across the world now have an interest in sustainable development and many have shown their commitment by setting targets to improve the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of their communities. At the same time, climate change is becoming an increasingly urgent issue and many local authorities wish to play their part in mitigating climate change by reducing their own greenhouse gas emissions. The LETIT approach provides local authorities with a framework and tools to embark upon a community-based process through which they can identify, assess and plan local projects that could result in, not only CO2 reductions, but also social and economic benefits, such as employment, health and education.

3. What is involved?
In order to maximise the benefit of the LETIT toolkit, your local authority will need to nominate one or two individuals from within the local authority to lead a group of local stakeholders through the LETIT process. They should be committed and well organised individuals, with a good knowledge of sustainable development and, most importantly, in a good position to identify key stakeholders both within and outside the local authority. As a participatory planning process, LETIT involves a series of workshops and meetings, plus some information gathering and it is therefore crucial that key stakeholders are involved. In terms of timescale, the LETIT process could vary from a 6 to an 18 month period. However, in order to ensure momentum and move towards implementation of projects as quickly as possible, a timescale of 1 year would be the optimum.

4. How is LETIT different to other toolkits?
LETIT is unique in its emphasis is on community engagement in local sustainable energy. It encourages the involvement of local stakeholders at every stage of the process, and provides practical tools to engage them in the development of projects, including asset identification and risk assessment. Experience in using LETIT shows that such engagement positively enhances the process, and will help to achieve the main aim of LETIT, which is the implementation of sustainable energy at a local level.

Another key difference is that the LETIT toolkit encourages local authorities to consider more innovative and ambitious project ideas. By engaging a wider range of stakeholders (such as private businesses, the public and community groups), the scope of what can be achieved by local authorities is greatly increased.

5. Has LETIT been used in other local authorities?
Yes. During its development, the LETIT toolkit was trialled and reviewed by local authorities in six European countries - South Bohemia (Czech Republic), Freiburg (Germany), Terni (Italy), Almada (Portugal), Pomeranian Region (Poland) and the London Borough of Merton (UK). You can find out more about the experiences of those authorities by visiting 'LETIT in Practice' within the toolkit, or contacting those authorities direct - see Project Team.

6. How will I know if it is appropriate for use in my local authority?
Use of LETIT is most likely to work in local authorities that have already expressed their commitment to sustainable development and climate change objectives, and have senior level support. The reason for this is that local authority staff will be required to lead the process, and will need authorisation to spend time on the activities that LETIT involves. Without visible local authority support, it may also be more difficult to convince the community that their involvement will be worthwhile.

7. Can it be used by organisations other than local authorities?
Yes. Although the toolkit has been designed with local authorities in mind, there is no reason why other organisations involved in local planning cannot use the toolkit, or elements of it. While local authorities, as community leaders, are best placed to initiate the type of sustainable energy planning promoted by LETIT, there are other entities that are also in a good position to initiate such processes, for example community groups, private developers or universities.

8. Can LETIT be used in any country?
Yes. LETIT has been developed as a generic methodology that can be applied anywhere in Europe, and further afield. Although the entire toolkit is currently only available in English, a Quick Tour of LETIT can be viewed in Czech, Italian, Germany, Polish and Portugese.

9. Is the LETIT toolkit free?
Yes. While the intellectual property rights of the LETIT toolkit are owned by the LETIT Consortium, it was developed under a European Commission funded project and, as such, its results are public and the final toolkit available for free.

10. Do I require any special software to use the LETIT toolkit?
No. The LETIT guidance is presented in a series of linked html pages, and the accompanying tools are all downloadable Word, Excel and PDF files. The toolkit can also be provided on a CD, available through the Project Coordinators, ESD Ltd (UK).

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The assets referred to in LETIT are the resources that local authorities either own, manage or control. They include buildings, roads, land, water, transport - even waste. All these assets can be developed to generate or provide a demand for sustainable energy, bringing a number of local and global benefits.


Sustainable energy includes rational use of energy (otherwise known as energy efficiency), renewable energy and clean energy for transport. There are many web-based resources that provide information on sustainable energy technologies and their applications, including the LETIT Technology Guide.

LETIT was coordinated by ESD Ltd and part-funded by the European Commission's Sixth Framework Programme (FP6).

The LETIT project began in May 2004 and was completed in June 2006.



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