There is a paradox at the heart of Europe’s ambition to achieve a municipal energy transition. On the one hand, there is recognition of the importance of municipal and community action to tackle climate change. It is widely recognised that the local level – the scale of everyday life – is a critical policy space for developing strategies for achieving an energy transition. From our work on the MPOWER project, however, it is evident that while municipalities are keen to set ambitious targets and goals, without supportive infrastructure and policies at national and European levels that are not driven by marketisation imperatives, they will struggle.