A £10m fund has been launched to get locally owned renewable energy schemes off the ground.
The Urban Community Energy Fund will offer grants of up to £20,000 or loans of up to £130,000.
Launching the fund, energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey said communities will be able to benefit by creating "power hubs" where solar panels installed on local buildings or anaerobic digestion plants use local waste save whole areas money.
A Wales Audit Office report warning that council environmental health services are reaching a tipping point as austerity bites is a "stark warning" for the future, according to the Welsh Local Government Association.
The report, Delivering with Less, says councils are currently finding ways to meet most of their statutory environmental health duties but spending is not protected and services are "at risk of becoming unsustainable".
Derbyshire County Council has approved a £23m plan to switch to energy efficient LED street lighting.
More than 68,000 street lights will have their bulb, light fitting and shade replaced with new LED fittings. At the same time, over 22,000 older lamp posts will be replaced.
The council will borrow the funding, which will be paid back over 20 years. However, the authority believes the investment could be paid back in just over eight years due to reductions in energy and maintenance costs.
Using incentives and rewards to alter households' behaviour is nearly twice as effective as adopting a "stick" approach to force people to recycle, according to new research.
Freedom of Information requests by Greenredeem, which provides green rewards programmes, found that local authorities with incentive programmes had dry recycling rates of 19.18 per cent in 2012-13. This is compared with a rate of 11.91 per cent for those with compulsory recycling.
Cumbria County Council has launched a three-year, £7.6m project to replace around 11,500 high-wattage street lights with energy efficient LEDs.
The council has seen its electricity bill for street lighting rise from £1.75m in 2011-12 to £2.1m in 2013-14 - and prices are set to continue climbing. By replacing older lights, it expects to save £140,000 in the first year, rising to £290,000 in year two and £430,000 in the final year of the scheme.
Devon County Council is supporting a project that will see 30 community projects receive funding to generate, own and save energy.
The initiative, which has been launched by non-profit sustainable energy group Regen SW, will provide grants of up to £5,000 to pay for start-up assistance, covering anything from legal fees to community engagement. The scheme is part of a national programme being funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, with the county council providing additional support in Devon.