German and Greek organizations have joined hands to provide evidence, frameworks and tools for motivating and supporting behavioral change of energy end-users, in tertiary and residential buildings, towards energy saving. Through the “Greek-German Bilateral Research and Innovation Cooperation ” funding measure, five entities from Germany and Greece will work together to present to end-user prosumers analysis tools and recommendations for energy efficiency actions, enabling them to realize energy savings potentials, so as to widen user adoption of such techniques and increase their effectiveness.
The Sustainable energy is hands down one of the biggest challenges of our times. As the EU sets its focus to reach its 2020 goals, the role of private energy consumers becomes prevalent. The EU and member states are beginning to understand the need to complement supply-related measures (e.g. smart/efficient buildings, appliances and meters) with consumption-affecting initiatives (e.g. consumer empowerment, information and education, energy taxes and incentives)1.
However, researchers and practitioners alike have long realized that convincing consumers to change their behaviours (e.g. reduce energy consumption, switch to higher efficiency products) can be notoriously evasive: decision making complexity, known and undocumented biases and the infamous intention behaviour gap are only a few of the broader reasons why so many initiatives were unsuccessful to produce consistent results in the sustainable energy domain. In addition, infrastructural difficulties (diverse requirements in data procurement, privacy, policy/regulation diversity) in combination with the inherent technical nature of energy bills and the billing system in general further hamper our ability to deliver the much-necessary consumer empowerment.
SIT4Energy will develop a smart system and customer-centered applications for integrated energy management in prosumer scenarios that consider both the efficiency potentials in the local energy production and in the energy consumption. The developed prototype system and customer applications will be deployed and evaluated in real-world pilots in two different climatic regions, Greece and Germany. This will enable the transfer of developed solutions into new commercial offerings of the participating SMEs; a municipal utility company in Germany (SHF) and an innovative IT-service and software development company in Greece (ITML). The validation in pilots will thus serve as the preparation for the uptake of the developed solutions by the German utility (SHF) who will provide it as a service to their customers and as a marketing showcase for the commercial exploitation by the ITML. The research and university partners (CERTH, HOST) will exploit the results through scientific publications, development of new projects and transfer in teaching and consulting for the regional SMEs.